After recent games against the Storm and Sun, after a brutal weather system pounded the D.C. metropolitan area this weekend and with the temperatures remaining in the unbearable range, it almost seems appropriate that the struggling Washington Mystics find the Mercury next on the schedule. The Mystics (2-10) returned home following a three straight road losses, but the Verizon Center has been no magic elixir halfway for the WNBA's lowest scoring team midway through their four game homestand. Now after losses to Seattle by eight points and Connecticut by 13, Washington faces Phoenix (4-9) on Sunday (1 p.m.) in a rematch from earlier this month, yet another result that went the wrong way for Coach Trudi Laceys squad.The latest setback Washington has lost nine of 10 games - came Friday night. Trailing by four points at halftime, the Mystics offense powered down upon returning to the court, unable to score during the opening 4:20 of the third quarter. In that stretch the Sun pulled away with a 12-0 run and outscored the Mystics 27-12 in the quarter for a 63-44 lead. When you dont make shots, its a little deflating, Lacey said. We came out missed a couple of shots and turned the ball over. It takes us out of our offensive rhythm. There are two things we have to do. We have to play with energy all the time and we have to take care of the basketball.The low scoring Mystics - 68.4 points per contest on the season and 63.3over its last three games - also need to even out the recent free throw line imbalance.The Mystics have taken 22 fewer attempts in the two losses while beingoutscored at the charity stripe 51-27. Monique Currie scored 20 points in the earlier meeting against the Mercury. That output represented her season-high until the Mystics small forward tallied 21 points against the Sun, sinking two 3-pointers. Over her last four games, the former Bullis star has made half her shots (7 of 14) from beyond the arc. Washington will need more of that deep accuracy - plus steady effort throughout for a winning effort against the Mercury.We need to be more consistent, coming out in the second half ready to fight and ready to play; we just need to leave it all out there, Currie said following Fridays loss. We need to be more confident and aggressive. Teams are coming in here and theyre being the aggressive ones. The Sun came out after halftime and they hit us first.The shorthanded Mercury are coming off an impressive 84-81 win in Chicago on Friday despite suiting up only eight players. DeWanna Bonner, the WNBAs third-leading scorer (20.4), paced four double-digit scorers with 27 points. On June 20, Bonner played the entire 40 minutes and scored a team-high 19 points in an 80-77 win over the Mystics. The 6-foot-4 wing drained a clutch 3-pointer during a frantic comeback as Washington let a five-point lead slip away over the games final two minutes and 26 seconds. Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 21 points.Despite the win in Chicago, the Mercury have lose six of eight road games this season playing without injured star Diana Taurasi (hip flexor). Washingtons only two victories have come at home, along with five losses.
NEW YORK—The conditions were deplorable. Rain fell throughout the day, but Major League Baseball was determined to play on Friday night, and the Orioles didn’t let the awful weather deter them as they moved a step closer to the postseason.
With their 8-1 win over the New York Yankees before 33,955 at Yankee Stadium, the Orioles reduced their magic number to two for clinching a postseason spot.
Toronto, which began the game tied with the Orioles (88-72) for the top wild-card spot, was playing at Boston, and Detroit, trailing by 1 ½ games was at Atlanta.
After three hitless innings by both teams, Chris Davis singled with two outs in the fourth. J.J. Hardy followed with a single, and Jonathan Schoop doubled to score two runs off Michael Pineda (6-12).
Adam Jones led off the fifth with a long home run to left field, his 29th. Hyun Soo Kim had an infield single, and after Manny Machado fouled out, Mark Trumbo hit his 47th home run to left, and the Orioles led 5-1, and Pineda was done.
James Pazos struck out Matt Wieters. Davis doubled, and Hardy walked. Jonathan Schoop hit his 25th home run of the year, a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs.
Yovani Gallardo didn’t allow a hit until the fourth when Brian McCann singled with one out. Mark Teixeira’s fly ball scored Gary Sanchez with the only run for New York (83-77).
Gallardo (6-8) gave up a leadoff single to Aaron Hicks in the fifth. In six innings, he allowed one run on two hits.
It was a quantum leap from his last start here on Aug. 26 when Gallardo recorded just four outs and allowed eight runs, seven earned.
Brian Duensing pitched a spotless seventh, and Darren O’Day had a 1-2-3 eighth, and Tyler Wilson worked the ninth.
NOTES: The Orioles are the 12th team in major league Trumbo’s 47th home run ties Chris Davis (2015) for the fourth most home runs in team history. … Wade Miley (9-13, 5.40) faces Luis Severino (3-8, 5.75) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. The six runs in the fifth were the most the Orioles scored in the fifth inning this season. … The three home run inning was the Orioles’ 10th this season, most in the majors.
The first game of the Nationals series against the Marlins started late after a nearly two-hour-long rain delay. However, before the first pitch, the Nats played a tribute to Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, whose recent death has left the entire MLB community in shock.
A video tweeted by @masnNationals shows both teams standing on the field, while the clips of Fernandez play on the video board in center field.
The Marlins twitter also shared a video of the pre-game tribute.
Gio Gonzalez, who was good friends with Fernandez and attended his funeral on Thursday, is seen with tears in his eyes, waving his hat toward the sky. Gonzalez also hung a Fernandez jersey in the Nationals' dugout prior to the game.
The Diamondbacks left a message for the Marlins in the visitor's clubhouse at Nationals Park before leaving town Thursday.
Fernandez's death is reaching even further than baseball. The Miami Hurricanes tweeted a picture of decals they added to their helmets for their game tomorrow against Georgia Tech.
It is clear that although Jose may be gone, he will always be rememered by the entire sports community.