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LAst Night's Action: Dodgers Break June Swoon and Beat Angels
LA Dodgers defeat LA Angels 10-6. Dear Jesus Lord the Dodgers and Angels play never-ending games. After manager Joe Torre reported went on a tirade after Wednesday night’s awful loss, the Dodgers seemed to be revived using a five-run fourth inning to help them get their first win over the Angels this season. After the Dodgers ran themselves out of the game last night, the Angels had their turn tonight with runners getting picked off left and right including your run of the mill 1-4-3-2-5 pick off. A bank of lights went out in the seventh inning delaying the game for 18 minutes, but that’s no excuse for the game ending past 11 pm. Jeff Weaver got the win for the Dodgers and Angels starter Scott Kazmir was tagged for the loss.
CLASSIC IN LONDON. A list of endurance sports would probably include running marathons, participating in a triathlon or being subjugated to The Hills marathon. But until American John Isner’s and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut’s epic 11 hour, five minute classic at Wimbledon that finally saw an end on Thursday, tennis normally wouldn’t be included in that list.
On Tuesday at 6:18 pm London Time when the first round match began, nothing seemed to be out of ordinary. The 23rd seeded Isner despite not having won a match on the grass courts of the All England Club was expected to advance over the qualifier Mahut who went 24-22 in the last set of his second-round qualifier match. As the sun was setting that Tuesday night Isner won the fourth-set tiebreaker and at 9:07 London Time it was decided to suspend the game.
So everyone came back to Court 18 Wednesday 2:05 pm London Time to begin the fifth and deciding set. Since the US Open is the only Grand Slam that uses a tie break, the winner would have to win by two games in order to win the match. With hindsight this should have been foreseen since neither player had broken since Mahut did it earlier in the second set. So on and on they went. Serve, return in the net, repeat. It didn’t make for beautiful tennis by any means. But by 20-20 it had become a spectacle. However the magnitude of the spectacle was then unknown.
They went on and on. Hardly a chirp from either player complaining about calls despite replay unable to be used (the technology is only deployed on Centre Court and Court 1, the big show courts on the premises.) There were no bathroom breaks and no gamesmanship with calling out a trainer. Simply it became an endurance match between two players who displayed the best in sportsmanship.
At 47-47 the scoreboard froze.
At 58-58 they finally took a bathroom break, but by then they had already eclipsed the longest tennis match in history and most aces in a match.
Finally at 59-59 at 9:13 pm they suspended the game yet again.
So at 3:40 pm they returned and continued much of the same. Serve, botched return, repeat. Just to spice things up they would toss in an ace, but it was hardly exciting tennis.
With Isner leading 69-68 and Mahut serving, there was no indication this would be the game that would end things. But a poor drop shot by Mahut made it 15-30 and got people wondering. Mahut calmed things down with a volley winner to make it 30-30. But Isner whose forehand came alive in the final hour of the previous day hit a forehand winner for his fifth match point. And unlike the four other match points, Isner hit a backhand down the line to win it.
John Isner and Nicolas Mahut posing in front of the scoreboard after their historic match. AP Photo/Alastair Grant
The official score for Isner was 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. But in between all of that were 980 points, 711 in the fifth set alone. Actually Mahut led Isner in total points 502-478 and in fifth set points 365-346. But at the end Isner stood victorious with his first victory at Wimbledon. And most importantly Isner will on to the second round to face Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands on Friday.
- NBA DRAFT. The Clippers picked Al-Farouq Aminu with the eighth pick of the first round, a strong forward from Wake Forest University and point guard Willie Warren in the second round. The Lakers selected forwards Devin Ebanks of West Virginia and Derrick Caracter of UTEP in the second round. But I guess the Clippers are also going to get 18th pick Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a future first round pick.
NY Yankees (45-27) at LA Dodgers (39-33). CC Sabathia (8-3, 3.68 ERA) vs. Vicente Padilla (1-1, 6.67 ERA). 7:10 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.
Colorado Rockies (38-34) at LA Angels (41-34). Jeff Francis (2-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (7-3, 3.04 ERA). 7:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.