Leading Off, 8/10: The NFL is back... kind of
It's been a long six months, but after one of the most hectic offseasons of all time, the NFL finally returned last night -- sort of.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings faced off in the Hall of Fame Game -- the league's preseason kickoff event in which few, if any, starting-caliber NFL players take part. But it's NFL football nonetheless, and so we react accordingly.
Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown all sat the length of the game. Teddy Bridgewater completed five of his six attempts for Minnesota, as one of the only starters to play. Mike Wallace didn't catch a pass. Kyle Rudolph snagged two for 22 yards. Landry Jones lined up under center throughout for Pittsburgh, connecting on 16-of-32 for 135 yards.
The game was a stinker. But the idea of the game is much better. Football is back!
Vikings 14, Steelers 3
On the Diamond
MLB action featured a full slate of games on Sunday, with a healthy amount of games separated by close margins. specifically...
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 0
The Yankees just got swept at the least opportune time, to a surging Jays team that's threatening to take over the pole position in the AL East. Fittingly, a fan (presumably a Yankees fan) threw back a Jose Bautista home run ball, only to bean New York outfielder Brett Gardner in the back of the head.
Red Sox 7, Tigers 2
Not exactly the closest of finishes, but between two teams trending negatively, we can't say this will have the biggest impact on the final standings.
Indians 8, Twins 1
Days ago, Minnesota was in the heat of a Wild Card hunt. Now they find themselves a game under .500, 4.5 games out of a playoff spot.
Rays 4, Mets 3
The Rays swooped in and stole a series from the surging Mets at home, thanks to Chris Archer's dominant performance. Perhaps it's all in the pregame routine.
Rockies 6, Nationals 4
Having surrendered the division lead to the Mets earlier in the week, Washington just can't get back on the winning side -- even against a floundering Colorado team that just traded its franchise player.
Royals 5, White Sox 4
The victory capped off a sweep for Kansas City, opening up a mammoth 11.5 game lead in the Central Division. No Cinderella story is in store for this year.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
In his first appearance against his former team, the Brewers tagged Jonathan Broxton for the loss.
Cubs 2, Giants 0
A bad time to have a bad time for San Francisco, who was swept by the Cubs in four straight. The loss Sunday dipped them to 59-52 overall and 3.5 games out of a playoff spot.
Angels 5, Orioles 4
Doesn't get much better than an old-fashioned walk-off, which is how Los Angeles took the victory Sunday. They creep back to within a half-game of the division-leading Houston Astros.
Athletics 5, Astros 4
Not the best time for Houston to drop one to a last-place Oakland team, with the Angeles pulling off a potentially momentum-shifting victory at home.
Mariners 4, Rangers 2
The Mariners aren't exactly tearing up the league this season, but when Felix Hernandez takes the mound, they have as good as chance to win as any team. King Felix powered Seattle's 52nd victory on Sunday, improving to 14-6.
Phillies 5, Padres 3
More struggles for Andrew Cashner, who went 6.1 innings but allowed 8 hits and a home run to light-hitting Odubel Herrera.
Diamondbacks 4, Reds 3
More walk-off action, this time in Arizona -- but much more anticlimactic. Chris Owings lifted the game-winning hit in the 10th, celebration ensued... but Reds manager Brian Price suspected something was up. After the D-Backs finished celebrating, Cincinnati re-tagged every base in an attempt to catch somebody sleeping. To no avail. The victory stood, and the party resumed.
Marlins 4, Braves 1
The Marlins came away victorious, but lost the day after receiving word that ace Jose Fernandez is likely headed back to the DL.
Pirates 13, Dodgers 6
Disappointing ending from LA, but no matter, as the Giants were busy this weekend getting their pride hijacked by the Cubbies.
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