Today England have been thrashed by India. But that is not the only sporting event; game five of the NLCS is tonight and Zach Greinke pitches for Milwaukee. Both the ALCS and NLCS are guaranteed to go at least six games, and if Greinke can get another win (he got the win in game one as well) the Brewers would be very much in the driving seat going back to Milwaukee for Sunday’s game. The Rangers have a similar edge in the ALCS, though the Tigers have a bit of momentum after finally getting their offence going behind Verlander and sending the series back to Texas. Their game six is tomorrow. My prediction is that the Brewers will win the next two games to secure the NL pennant and that the Tigers will force a game seven, but lose and the Rangers will win the AL crown.
That is my take on the cricket and baseball, which like all good sports are played on weekdays and weekends. Because anyone who values high workplace productivity over sport is not a real fan. It’s coming up on the weekend though so there are some lesser, but still fun, events coming up.
The most important one is this Saturday at 12.45 BST/06.45 CDT. Liverpool v Manchester United. Liverpool won last year’s fixture 3-1 with Dirk Kuyt netting one of the easiest hat-tricks in history. That was during Liverpool’s late season resurgence. This year they have had a slightly mercurial but mostly indifferent start. I think I was in the majority of Reds in expecting a bit more bang from our big signings. Suarez has been consistently impressive, however, and Carroll finally broke his duck so things may be looking up. United, meanwhile, are United and thus will be a) hard to beat and b) bring with them the most loud-mouthed and ignorant fans outside of New York. My prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd, Suarez scoring a late winner.
Still in football, this morning UEFA handed down a three match ban for Wayne Rooney. Seeing as England will play at most six games in Euro 2012, (and in reality will probably not play more than four) there is a chance now that Rooney will be omitted from the squad entirely. As I stated last week, I’m not sure that will be a bad thing.
Tomorrow morning and Sunday morning (09.00 BST/03.00 CDT) are the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. Wales will play France and Australia will play New Zealand. In the quarter-finals Wales played outstandingly well against Ireland; France played well enough as England imploded; the Wallabies were pretty fortunate to win, but beat South Africa in the breakdowns and New Zealand were shaky early, but settled down to beat Argentina fairly comfortably. I’d be pretty surprised if Wales and New Zealand don’t see each other in the final, but the All Blacks have historically lost when they shouldn’t and les Bleus have historically done the exact opposite of what everyone expects, so I’m looking forward to watching those matches.