Pitch Perfect

August 8, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back 

One of the world\’s most predominant leagues was back in action across the pond this weekend. There\’s a new top club in baseball, and a fun double-feature of golf leads us into the FedEx Cup Playoffs this week. We\’ve got plenty to catch up on from the last weekend of the year sans NFL (hold the applause).

Letter Rip!



Welcome Back, Premier League!


Haaland Shines in Debut, Ten Hag’s Opener Blunder & More From EPL Matchday 1


England welcomed back futbol a little earlier than the U.S. this month. The Premier League returned over the weekend for Matchday 1. A plethora of headlines, debuts and highlights emerged from the pitch. Here are some of the weekend’s top notes.


Premier League Notes


Haaland’s Sensational Debut: Erling Haaland made his Premier League debut with Manchester City and fired a brace in a 2-0 win over West Ham. It was the 22-year-old’s first appearance since the club acquired him from Borussia Dortmund.


Ten Hag’s Disaster Start: Manchester United opened the season with new manager Erik Ten Hag, and it was a big disappointment. Man-U fell to Brighton & Hove Albion (2-1) in a stunning loss.


Spurs on Display: Tottenham got off the hottest start of any club with a 4-1 thrashing against Southampton. Spurs looked untouchable after falling down 1-0 then reeling off four goals in roughly 40 minutes.


Other Premier League Highlights

Chelsea def. Everton (1-0)

Liverpool draw Fulham (2-2)

Arsenal def. Crystal Palace (2-0)

Leicester City draw Brentford (2-2)


Additional Storylines

ESPN+: The Premier League’s Best Players Ranked (70-1)

SI: Erling Haaland Passes First Premier League Test With Ease

The Athletic: Erik ten Hag Era Gets Off to Torrid Start With Man-U Loss



A New Team On Top


Dodgers Sweep Padres, Cardinals Sweep Yankees & MLB Hierarchy Gets Sudden Change


After a weekend complete with win streaks by the Dodgers and a losing skid from the Yankees, there’s a new top team in baseball. For the first time since April, the Yankees don’t have the best record in the majors. Los Angeles swept the new-look Padres over the weekend in an NL West showdown, and the Dodgers are winners of eight straight and nine of their last ten. They weren’t the only National League division leader to go streaking, though. The Mets won three straight against the Braves to crack 70 wins, and the Cardinals swept the Yankees en route to their seventh straight. We’re a mere 50 days from October, and the standings just got a shakeup.


MLB Playoff Picture


American League

AL East: Yankees (70-39)

AL Central: Twins (57-51)

AL West: Astros (70-40)

Wild Card: Blue Jays (60-48)

Wild Card: Mariners (59-51)


In the Hunt: Rays (58-50), Guardians (56-52), Orioles (56-52), White Sox (55-53), Red Sox (54-56)


National League

NL East: Mets (70-39)

NL Central: Cardinals (60-48)

NL West: Dodgers (75-33)

Wild Card: Braves (64-46)

Wild Card: Padres (61-50)


In the Hunt: Phillies (60-48), Brewers (58-50), Giants (53-55)


Additional Storylines

MLB: Dodgers Make Statement Sweep Over Revamped Padres

Video: Mets Jacob deGrom Breaks Record for Most Strikeouts by a Pitcher in First 200 Starts

CBS Sports: MLB Weekend Recap: Cardinals Sweep Yankees, Phillies Dominate Nationals & More



Ionescu\’s Historic Season


Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu Becomes First WNBA Player With 500/200/200 Season


It only took two possessions in Saturday’s game between the Liberty and Mercury before Sabrina Ionescu tossed an assist and made WNBA history. The No. 1 pick in 2020, Ionescu became the first player ever to record 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a single season. The 24-year-old did it with four games to spare. The game itself told a different story as the Mercury won (76-62) and jumped New York in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot. Only one week remains in the WNBA season, but Ionescu has certainly lived up to the hype.


Additional Storylines

B/R: Ionescu Becomes 1st WNBA Player With 500/200/200 Season

ESPN: WNBA Power Rankings: Aces Reclaim No. 1



\"⛳️\" LPGA: Buhai Wins 2022 Women’s Open

Ashleigh Buhai (-10) of South Africa beat three-time major champion In Gee Chun in a sudden-death playoff that last four holes to win the 2022 AIG Women’s Open on Sunday. It was Buhai’s first major title after 15 years.


\"⛳️\" PGA: Kim Sets Tour Record at Wyndham

South Korean Joohyung “Tom” Kim (-20) announced his arrival on the PGA Tour Sunday with a 9-under 61 in the final round at the Wyndham Championship. He became the second-youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 60 years, and the win made him eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.


\"⚽️\" MLS: Zardes Hat Trick Highlights MLS Weekend

The final weekend in the MLS before the all-star break carried plenty of highlights, but none more brilliant than Gyasi Zardes’ three-goal outing for the Colorado Rapids in a 4-3 win over Minnesota United.


\"🏎️\" INDYCAR: Dixon Passes Andretti on Wins List

Scott Dixon won a crash-crazed Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville for his 53rd career IndyCar Series win. He passed Mario Andretti (52) for second on the all-time wins list where he now trails only A.J. Foyt (67).



\"🏛️\" The Direction of College Athletics

Where has realignment taken college sports, and where could it be heading in the future? Our writer roundtable tackles the pressing issues as the direction of college athletics hangs in the balance. (Sports Illustrated)


\"🏈\" NFL QB Competition Tracker

Two involve rookies looking to establish themselves atop the depth chart, and all of them include veterans with aspirations to revitalize their careers. Here\’s a look at where the league\’s ongoing QB competitions stand. (FOX Sports)


\"🏀\" LeBron’s Extension Decision

LeBron James can officially sign an extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. As usual, he holds all the cards. A renewed commitment from James could give the Lakers the means to at least try and build a contender properly. (Bleacher Report)