In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Ross Detwiler pitched six strong innings and Ryan Zimmerman slammed a key RBI double as the Nationals clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history with a 4-1 win over the Dodgers. Wait a second is ESPN.com down? Weird. OK, just be cool. This is no big deal. It's just sports. It'll probably be back up soon. Maybe read the New York Times or something. Maybe see what's happening in the world since you last checked. Hmmm life expectancy is shrinking for less-educated whites in America. Am I less educated? I'm definitely white. I went to college, so maybe I'm OK. But I don't have a Master's degree. Oh God, I'm screwed, I'm going to die. I don't want to read this. Come back, ESPN. Just please come back.
- With Dusty Baker missing his second straight game with an irregular heartbeat, Johnny Cueto pitched six shutout innings to win his 18th game and help the Reds clinch at least a wild-card spot in a 5-3 win over the Cubs. This is sort of strange, but I'm crying now. I guess it's because of ESPN being down. It's, like, crying and shaking. It's getting hard to type, and I can't keep my breakfast down. Should I wake up my wife? That seems kind of extreme, but I'm not feeling so hot. My mom just Gchatted me and I swore at her. Feeling real jittery. ESPN still down.
- Rickie Weeks's two-run triple sparked the Brewers to a four-run eighth inning and a 9-7 comeback win over the Pirates. I wonder if there's somebody I can call about ESPN being down? Does 911 have any information? Maybe if I call 911 they can either tell me when ESPN will be back up, or just send an ambulance and give me some kind of knockout medicine until this whole thing passes. They have drugs for that, like laughing gas and anesthesia. I remember from when I had my wisdom teeth out. But this is way worse than that. Still down. Not loading up. Refreshing 89 times in a minute didn't help. Got some kind of skin rash developing.
- After being waived by the Panthers in 2010, Andre Brown ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns in his return to Carolina, leading the Giants to a 37-6 blowout win. WOW, that felt good. I just smashed one of my wooden kitchen chairs against the wall. It's just in splinters now. But it called me a goat, so it got what it deserved. I'm not a goat. My wife woke up, but I just kind of hissed at her and chanted in what I guess is a made-up language, but seemed pretty real at the time. So she left the house, probably went to get cereal or something. Come on back, ESPN. Truly yours, your biggest fans, this is Shane. LOL. PS, not wearing any clothes. They felt too heavy, or something, or like they could read my thoughts. Hard to explain.
- Red-hot Ichiro Suzuki continued an excellent homestand with a home run and a two-run double as the Yankees won their fifth straight, beating the Blue Jays 10-7. Great news. It's minute 27 of ESPN being down, and I've just defeated the sofa in an election for Apartment Emperor. It was a tough campaign, but the turning point was when the kitchen table endorsed me. I'm not saying my chair-smashing incident had anything to do with that, but then again, every good leader rules with fear. There are implications and hidden meanings to every look. It's why certain flowers are hateful. You all know what I mean. Having emerged from this power struggle, I feel a sort of tingling sensation all over. I recognize it as the feeling of power, and it is absolutely invigorating. ESPN still down. Hard to believe in anything but yourself.
- Tiger Woods shot an opening-round 66 for a share of the lead at the Tour Championship after a week in which Nick Faldo said his aura was gone and Greg Norman claimed he was intimidated by Rory McIlroy. The first thing I realized is that the couch couldn't be allowed to live. As someone that had opposed me in the last election, it's an enduring symbol of my past weakness. Its very expression nauseates me. Who are you, couch? How dare you question what's inside my brain? I just set it on fire as an example to the others. Part of me is wondering if I should have thrown it off the balcony instead, as it seems like the fire might affect other parts of life here inside the apartment. But I can't show any doubt around here, because the place is crawling with spies.
- Billy Gillispie resigned as head coach of the Texas Tech basketball team, citing health concerns. MARTIAL LAW HAS BEEN IMPOSED HERE. AMID THE SMOKE AND FLAMES I HAVE BEGUN CONDUCTING LOYALTY TRIALS. I SUSPECT THE BURNING COUCH HAS JOINED RANKS WITH THE DEPOSED WIFE TO TRY TO UNDERMINE ME. THE COFFEE TABLE LOOKS SUSPICIOUS AND APPEARS TO BE HOLDING PROPAGANDA LITERATURE DISGUISED AS US WEEKLY MAGAZINES. NO SURPRISE, AS THESE BELONGED TO THE WIFE. SMOKE GROWING THICK NOW. THE PINT GLASS JURY HAS RETURNED WITH A GUILTY VERDICT. IT HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO A WALL-SMASHING, WHICH IS PROVING DIFFICULT AS IT IS NEAR THE COUCH AND SOMEWHAT PROTECTED BY FLAMES. EVERYWHERE I TURN, ENEMIES. ESPN STILL DOWN.
- Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III accused the Rams defense of taking cheap shots during the 31-28 Redskins loss last Sunday. A HUMAN BEING MUST COUNT ON THE REGULARITY OF CERTAIN DAILY EVENTS. THE SUN SHALL RISE. THE HEART SHALL BEAT. THE ESPN SHALL DELIVER UNTO ME THE SPORTING NEWS OF THE DAY. I HAVE BEEN CORNERED BY THE GREAT COUCH FIRE AND IT HAS DAWNED ON ME THAT THE GREAT REIGN OF THE EMPEROR SHANUS RYANUS TYRANNUS IS NEARING ITS END. I KNOW I HAVE SERVED NOBLY AND FOUGHT MY ENEMIES WELL. NOW, AT THE END OF THIS LIFE, I SHALL SING OF MY GREAT DEEDS AS THE LAMBENT FLAMES BEGIN LICKING AT MY FEET, MY LEGS, MY— oh damn, ESPN's back up. Nice. Maybe I have time to fill in the links here and send this off. Maybe even crank out a joke. Hey, look, the Giants won. I used to root for them. Eli Manning, right? That name is like music.
- Manny Pacquiao has agreed to give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a 55-45 advantage in the financial split if he agrees to fight, putting the onus squarely on Mayweather. With that kind of money coming in, they ought to call this guy Payweather. Shouldn't they call him that? I don't remember exactly how humor works. Hahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAH. LAUGHTER! It is so, so hot.