👋 Good morning! Let's sports.
Today's word count: 1,106 (4 minutes)
Justin Verlander. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
"In World Series Game 2, a bullpen imploded, but it was not the Nationals'. A lineup produced a double-digit run total, but it was not the Astros'."— Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer
Inside the clubhouse: "When the Nationals left for Houston on Monday, there were 101 game balls stretching from March 31 to Oct. 15. They formed a mural of team success," write WashPost's Jesse Dougherty and Sam Fortier.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes ... The Astros whiffed on multiple chances to correctly handle the fallout from Brandon Taubman. Now it's MLB's turn and harsh discipline could be coming. Good.
The top four Heisman favorites are all QBs, and they play for the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 ranked teams in the country. If that doesn't intrigue you, check your pulse.
What would you do? One LSU fan stands to make $10,000 if Burrow wins the Heisman. He's been offered $3,500 to cash out his bet with Burrow currently the co-favorite.
Tonight: Hawks at Pistons (7pm ET), Bucks at Rockets (8pm ET), Clippers at Warriors (10:30pm ET)
Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders played each other in the championship game two years ago, and they both took a step toward potentially meeting again with wins in last night's conference semifinals.
Tonight: No. 2 seed Atlanta battles No. 3 seed Philadelphia in the East (8pm ET, ESPN2), while No. 1 seed LAFC battles No. 5 seed LA Galaxy in the West (10:30pm ET, ESPN).
Meanwhile, in Europe ... The third week of Champions League group play wrapped up yesterday. Here are the group standings with 3 games left to play.
After starting his round with 3 straight bogeys, Tiger Woods birdied nine of his next 15 holes to finish 6-under (tied for lead) at the Zozo Championship, the first PGA Tour event contested in Japan.
If the Patriots offense never took the field this year, New England's record would be 3-3-1. 3 wins without an offense!!! That's how utterly dominant their defense has been.
After calling Game 2 of the World Series in Houston last night, Joe Buck flew 1,178 miles to Minneapolis to call tonight's Vikings-Redskins game. He'll then fly 1,112 miles to D.C. for tomorrow's Game 3.
51 years ago today, 16-year-old American swimmer Debbie Meyer won the inaugural women's 800m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics.
Why it matters: Meyer went on to win the 200m and 400m, as well, becoming the first swimmer to win 3 individual golds at an Olympics.
Go deeper: We have footage (YouTube)
A reader told me that he and his son love doing the trivia each morning, so I asked if his son would help me out. 13-year-old Billy Cannon from Chevy Chase, Md., is providing the questions this week. Thanks, Billy!
Answer at the bottom.
Indonesia's Aries Susanti Rahayu broke the women's speed climbing world record at the Climbing World Cup, finishing the 49-foot climb in 6.995 seconds (previous record: 7.101 seconds).
🏀 Russell Westbrook finally wants to change, but can he? (Jesse Washington, The Undefeated)
"There's a difference between changing how you play and changing who you are. That's what Westbrook is trying to figure out — and it's the biggest challenge of his career."
⚽️ Carlos Vela just wants to go to work (Scott Cacciola, NYT)
"Does the Los Angeles F.C. star take soccer seriously enough? His critics, his former teams and even some of his rivals aren't sure. Vela says he will win, or lose, on his terms."
🏈 How Illinois' Irish kicker made his mark on the college football season (Ross Dellenger, SI)
"[James] McCourt was born in Ireland, moved to the U.S. at the age of 8, switched from kicking rugby balls to footballs, landed a late scholarship from Illinois, served as a backup kicker for three seasons and then made a field goal over the weekend to secure the biggest upset of the 2019 college football season. It's the football version of the American Dream."
Yesterday, we used an incorrect chart that showed Nike at 7% gain since November 2005 when — as the above chart correctly shows — the gain has been 772%. That's on us. Won't happen again.
P.S. ... Speaking of Nike, I made my TV debut yesterday on CBS, talking about their controversial sneakers. I was running on about an hour of sleep, but thankfully didn't bomb. You can watch the clip here.
Talk tomorrow, Kendall "Need to work on my tan" Baker
Trivia answer: Blue Jays (2-0), Marlins (2-0), Angels (1-0), Diamondbacks (1-0)