Spain's reign came to an inglorious end at the World Cup. Clayton Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter against Colorado. It's Flagrant 2 time, so chug that coffee and catch up on the two sports stories everyone will be talking about today.
La Roja's Reign Comes To An End
Spain's dreams of defending its 201o World Cup title came crashing down on Wednesday, with a 2-0 loss to Chile that left them with no hopes of advancing out of the group stage at this year's tournament.
Playing in front of a partisan crowd at Brazil's Maracana, the Chileans scored twice in the first half, Spain failed to convert on several sure-thing opportunities (Sergio Busquets' open-goal miss in the 52nd minute will certainly be discussed for the foreseeable future) and, when the referee finally blew his whistle, La Roja were left sitting at the bottom of Group B with zero points. Though they finish play on Monday against winless Australia, their World Cup is already over.
Spain certainly aren't the first reigning World Cup champions to suffer an early exit – Italy did it in 2010, as did France in 2002 – but they are the first to be eliminated after just two matches. And after the debacle of their opener (a 5-1 thrashing by their 2010 Final opponent, the Netherlands), rarely has a champion flamed out in such spectacular fashion.
Their latest loss left many mourning the end of Spanish domination on the world stage, a spectacular run that included a pair of Euro Championships bookending their 2010 Cup glory. As you'd probably expect, the Spanish press aren't taking all this particularly well. Vaya con Dios, guys.
Meanwhile, in Chile, people are going bonkers.
Clayton Kershaw Gets No-No Number One
At this point, Clayton Kershaw's list of accomplishments for the Los Angeles Dodgers is rather lengthy – a pair of Cy Young Awards, three-straight league ERA titles, ordering everything off the secret menu at In-N-Out – but he'd never thrown a no-hitter.
Until Wednesday night, when the L.A. ace made up for lost time in spectacular fashion, notching no-no number one by striking out 15 and coming within one error of a perfect game as the Dodgers beat Colorado 8-0. He threw 107 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. Yes, he was nasty.
Kershaw's no-hitter comes less than a month after his Dodger teammate Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter against Philadelphia, making this the first time L.A. has had two pitchers accomplish the feat since 1956. No truth to the rumors that, after breezing through the Rockies lineup, Kershaw spent the rest of the night striking people out in the parking lot of Chavez Ravine.
Since the U.S. Patent Office canceled several Washington Redskins trademarks yesterday, we came up with 5 New Names for the D.C. AKAs. ... The San Antonio Spurs partied like swashbuckling accountants at their championship parade. ... "Abby, run on the field!"