CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,232,823 and the nation’s death toll stands at 206,918, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… House Democrats yesterday postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill as negotiations continue with the White House. The vote was rescheduled for today following a meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met at the Capitol.
CHRIS WALLACE WASN’T READY FOR TRUMP… Fox News anchor Chris Wallace conceded yesterday that he should have been more assertive in Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Cleveland. Wallace, who moderated the event, offered “I’ve never been through anything like this.” During the debate Trump relentlessly interrupted Wallace and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at will. Yesterday the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would adopt new rules to guard against unruly behavior.
PARSCALE LEAVES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION… President Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale cited “overwhelming stress” yesterday in announcing that he is resigning from his current position as a senior adviser. The announcement comes just days after Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police detained Parscale in response to his wife’s claim that he was planning to harm himself with one of his guns. He is also under investigation over his use of millions of dollars of campaign funds.
COMEY DEFENDS RUSSIA INVESTIGATION… Former FBI Director James Comey yesterday defended his investigation into possible links between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian operatives. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey disputed the claims by Trump, Republican senators and Attorney General William Barr that the probe was unfounded and politically motivated. Comey noted the probe eventually resulted in nearly 200 criminal charges and dozens of indictments or guilty pleas after being taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Crews reported making some headway yesterday in their battle against two major wildfires that have charred more than 100,000 acres in Northern California. The Zogg Fire in Shasta County claimed its fourth fatality yesterday. The Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties has destroyed dozens of wineries.
MAC DAVIS DIES… Singer-songwriter Mac Davis, whose career gained momentum when he wrote the Elvis Presley songs “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” died Tuesday in Nashville after heart surgery. He was age 78. Davis had his biggest hit with his own “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis also hosted a television variety show in the 1970s.
HELEN REDDY DIES… Australian Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and feminist icon Helen Reddy died Tuesday of unspecified causes, her family has confirmed. She was 78 and had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Reddy is best known for her hit 1960s and ’70s songs “I Believe in Music,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Delta Dawn” “Angie Baby,” “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress),” “You and Me Against the World,” “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” and “I Can’t Hear You No More.”
NBA FINALS OPENER…
L.A. Lakers 116 – Miami 98… The Lakers cruised past the Heat to open the NBA Finals. Anthony Davis scored a game-high 34 points. LeBron James had 25 points and 13 rebounds. Game 2 is tomorrow.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 2 SCORES…
Houston 3 – MINNESOTA 1… Carlos Correa cracked a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the seventh inning and the Astros held on to sweep the best-of-three series and leave the Twins with 18 straight postseason losses. Cristian Javier provided three innings of hitless relief to get the win. The Astros await the winner of the Oakland-Chicago White Sox wild-card series in the AL Divisional Series.
TAMPA BAY 8 – Toronto 2… Hunter Renfroe unloaded a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning followed Mike Zunino’s two-run shot and the Rays coasted past the Blue Jays to complete a series sweep. Tyler Glasnow allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the New York Yankees-Cleveland wild-card series in the AL Divisional Series.
OAKLAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3… The Athletics held off the White Sox to force today’s decisive Game 3 in Oakland. Neither team has announced a starter. Marcus Semien homered with a runner aboard in the bottom of the second inning and Khris Davis added a solo shot in the fourth. Mark Cahna’s leaping catch at the wall robbed Yoan Moncada of a three-run homer in the third. Oakland starter Chris Bassitt surrendered a run on six hits over seven innings.
N.Y. Yankees 10 – CLEVELAND 9… DJ LeMahieu singled home Gio Urshela with the decisive run during a two-run top of the ninth inning and the Yankees slugged their way past the Indians for a sweep of the series. Urshela unloaded a grand slam. Gary Sanchez blasted a three-run homer. Giancarlo Stanton added a solo blast.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 1 SCORES…
ATLANTA 1 – Cincinnati 0 (13 innings)… Freddie Freeman singled home Cristian Pache with the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning as the Braves outlasted the Reds in the longest scoreless duel in postseason history. The game featured a showdown between Atlanta starter Max Fried and Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer in a matchup of between Cy Young-contenders. The teams combined for a postseason record 37 strikeouts, including 21 by the Braves. Atlanta will send Ian Anderson (3-2) to the mound in today’s Game 2. Fellow righthander Luis Castillo (4-6) gets the start for Cincinnati.
Miami 5 – CHI. CUBS 1… Corey Dickerson blasted a three-run homer as the Marlins scored all five runs in the top of the seventh inning to put away the Cubs. Sandy Alcantara allowed a run on three hits over 6-2/3 innings. Sixto Sanchez (3-2) gets the start for Miami in Game 2 today. Yu Darvish (8-3) takes the hill for Chicago in a matchup of righthanders.
St. Louis 7 – SAN DIEGO 4… Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer during a four-run top of the first inning and the Cardinals fought off the Padres. Matt Carpenter lifted a sacrifice fly and singled home a run. Adam Wainwright (5-3) takes the mound for the Padres in today’s Game 2. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Zach Davies (7-4).
L.A. DODGERS 4 – Milwaukee 2… Corey Seager smacked a solo homer and Mookie Betts doubled home a run as the Dodgers clipped the Brewers. Billy Smith and AJ Pollock drew bases-loaded walks in the first. L.A. sends lefthander Clayton Kershaw (6-2) to the mound today. He’ll be opposed by Milwaukee righthander Brandon Woodruff (3-5).