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LAst Night's Action: It Was a Good Friday in Sports

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It was a good Friday in sports. Hope that appeared dead suddenly sprang back to life.

Let’s start with the local kids the Dodgers. Against a playoff-bound Atlanta Braves team, the Dodgers trail 5-0 by the third inning. It really made me rethink what I wrote on Wednesday about the Dodgers offense. Perhaps they did really well since they played the likes of San Diego, Colorado and a down St. Louis team. Perhaps all of this offense had been an illusion.

But when Juan Rivera hit a bases loaded single that scored two in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the sixth inning against starter Brandon Beachy, I could detect their pulse. Then they went to town on reliever Arodys Vizcaino tagging him with eight runs on one out in the seventh inning.

And the pitching backed them up. Hong-Chih Kuo relieved starter Chad Billingsley in the fifth inning and pitched two innings striking out three allowing no score. Javy Guerra closed the game, and although he gave up his first homer to Dan Uggla in the ninth, he shut down everyone else to get his 14th save of the season.

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In this theme of resurrection, a team that looked absolutely dead a month ago and destined to be last in the division has suddenly won 10 of their last 11 games to be only three games under .500 and five games back in the loss column for second place in the division behind the San Francisco Giants.

It wasn’t limited to the Dodgers. In the US Open at Flushing Meadows, the fourth-seeded Andy Murray was being outplayed by an unseeded 24-year old Dutchman Robin Hasse. After two sets, Murray had 34 unforced errors to 26 winners and was down 7-6; 6-2.

Then just like that Murray turned it on winning the third set 6-2. In the fourth set, Hasse, who bore a striking resemblance to the Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, just collapsed. 15 unforced errors, eight winners and Hasse was bagelled 6-0. In the fifth set it seemed that he conceded the match staring another bagel in the eye at 4-0.

But something happened. A forehand winner here, a drop-shot there. Next thing the fifth set was tied 4-4.

It was just plain crazy. Here a guy who looked so dominant to start out the match, then looked defeated, and now here he was with a realistic shot in knocking Murray out in the second round. This is the same Murray who had gotten to the semifinals in the other three grand slams this year.

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Unfortunately Hasse wilted again, and Murray came through 6-4 to move on to the third round. But for those 20 minutes in the fifth set, Hasse set the New York crowd in Louis Armstrong Stadium on fire with this narrative.

And it continued on to Waco, TX. The reigning Rose Bowl champs TCU Horned Frogs were in trouble at the Baylor Bears. Robert Griffin, III tossed the pigskin all around the field for Baylor that by the third quarter gave them the 47-23 lead.

But Baylor took their foot off the throttle opting to run the ball fairly unsuccessfully as a cramping TCU offense drove down the field down 24. They scored three touchdowns and made two two-point conversions to get to within two points with over seven minutes remaining. On Baylor’s possession, Griffin fumbled the ball giving TCU plenty of time to drive down for the go-ahead field goal taking the 48-47 lead.

Unfortunately just over four minutes remained in the game and Baylor went back to what worked for them. Griffin drove the Bears down the field setting up for the 37-yard field goal for the 50-48 lead. TCU quarterback Casey Pachall threw an interception in the waning seconds and that was it.

So it’s been a crazy day that further emphasized the cliché, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

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TONIGHT’S ACTION

UCLA Bruins at Houston Cougars. 12:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 570 KLAC.

Minnesota Golden Gophers at USC Trojoans. 12:30 p.m. ABC, AM 710 KSPN.

LA Dodgers at Atlanta Braves. KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

Minnesota Twins at LA Angels. KCOP 13, AM 830 KLAA.