SO ALL FOUR DIVISION SERIES HAVE GONE THE DISTANCE. Can’t ask for much more than that if you’re a baseball fan — or Bud Selig, for that matter. And the 2-3 format made necessary by the compressed schedule this year has had an unintended positive: With only one travel day per series, the momentum and energy from each night does not get time to stagnate. It’s pick up your jaw and move on to the next day if you’re the Cardinals, Nationals, Orioles or Yankees.
The next day is here. The Yanks and O’s settle things in Game 5 at 5 p.m. on TBS, with CC Sabathia opposing Jason Hammel. New York is a 2-to-1 favorite. Whoever wins might not want to drink too much champagne; their ALCS will open tomorrow night in the Bronx (if the Yanks win) or in Detroit (if the O’s prevail). The Tigers advanced last night with a 6-0 win over the A’s as Justin Verlander fired a four-hitter.
The Cards and Nats get the prime time slot for Game 5, with Adam Wainwright taking the hill against Gio Gonzalez at 8:30 p.m. on TBS. Nats, still alive thanks to Jayson Werth’s walk-off last night, are a 6-to-5 favorite.
-Tech will be without guard David Wang and reserve center/guard Caleb Farris for tomorrow’s game against Duke, but running back Tony Gregory and receiver Dyrell Roberts are expected to play. The Hokies are a 10-point favorite. I think Tech will win, but 10 points seems like an awful lot. Anybody really like the Hokies to cover that number?
-Tech’s basketball team gets a commitment from a 6-foot-9 power forward out off Chandler, Ariz.
-Berman has a feature on hoops coach James Johnson here.
PREPARE THY COUCH
-Your TV games of note tomorrow include: Louisville at Pitt (11 a.m., ESPNU), Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas (noon, WSET), unbeaten Kansas State at Iowa State (noon, FX), Syracuse at undefeated Rutgers (noon, MASN), Duke at Tech (12:30 p.m., WDBJ), North Carina at Miami (2:30 p.m., ESPNU), Maryland at Virginia (3 p.m., CSN), West Virginia at Texas Tech (3:30 p.m., WSET), Alabama at Missouri (3:30 p.m., WDBJ), Stanford at Notre Dame (3:30 p.m., WSLS), Boston College at Florida State (5:30 p.m., ESPN2), USC at Washington (7 p.m., WFXR), South Carolina at LSU (8 p.m., ESPN).
-Tonight’s TV game is Navy at Central Michigan (8 p.m., ESPN2).
-Berman spotlights the three prep football shows that the local television networks put on each Friday night.
-Here are Robert’s predictions for tonight’s games.
-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the next two races with a concussion. “You know your body and you know your mind, and you know when something is not quite right,” Earnhardt says.
NAME THAT TUNE
-Congrats to Jonathan, who swooped in at 9:41 last night to get yesterday’s (“Live Your Life” by T.I.). Here’s today’s — yeah, I can’t help myself:
You choke down all your anger
Forget your only son
You pray to statues when you sober up for fun
Your anger don’t impress me
The world slapped in your face
It always rains like hell on the loser’s day parade
You see, you’d love to run home, but you know you ain’t got one
Cuz you’re livin’ in a world that you’re best forgotten
When you’re thinkin’ you’re a joke and nobody’s gonna listen
To the one small point I know they’ve been missin’ ’round here…