IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi gains ground in championship race; A’s continue march toward playoffs | TheUnion.com

IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi gains ground in championship race; A’s continue march toward playoffs

Jim Adams
Sports Columnist

ROSSI DOMINANT AT POCONO: The IndyCar points championship lead is trimmed to 29 points after hometown boy Alexander Rossi led for 180 of 200 laps to take the Pocono 500. After a disastrous early crash by Canadian Robert Wickens, there was a 2 hour delay for repairs. However, Rossi was totally dominant. In fact, he has three wins this season and has led in all IndyCar races in 2018. Rossi took the lead on the first lap, and, despite pit stops, never looked back. He is leading consistently as he powers towards the points championship and today's 5 p.m. race on NBCSN.

A'S CONTINUE MARCH: After an opening loss to Minnesota Thursday, the A's are 8-4 in their last 12. Aside from a split with the Dodgers, they have won every series in August. To everyone's surprise, they are four games in front for the second Wild Card spot and one game behind front-running Houston in the West as of Friday morning. Khris Davis leads the Majors in home runs and the A's are second in the AL in doubles. They are sixth in the Majors in WHIP, seventh in runs, and 10th in ERA. The A's are the surprise of MLB. In the next 2 weeks, big series against Seattle, the Yankees, and Houston as the regular season winds down.

GIANT POWER FAILURE: The Giants are coming off of a road trip in which they went 4-6. The main problem was offensive production. San Francisco has sunk to 25th in runs. During the recently concluded games on the road, they averaged a scant 2.4 runs per game. The end result? The Giants linger at around nine games back in the weak National League West with a record of 63-66 as of Friday morning. Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen have not exactly panned out how the G-Men would have liked.

49ERS IN PRE-SEASON: Week 2 was a 17-13 loss against the Houston Texans. Jimmy Garoppolo had two series to start the game. He was 10-for-12 passing including 6-for-6 on 3rd down. Nine penalties that Kyle Shanahan called "stupid" in the 1st half doomed San Francisco. C.J. Beathard struggled to move the ball in his back-up stint at quarterback. They scrimmaged with the Texans on Wednesday and Thursday, and it took a final drive by Houston to capture the win.

RAIDERS SPUTTER: It featured a first half in which the Oakland Raiders recorded one first down. Their offensive execution was poor as they amassed but 58 total yards, exiting the field with a 13-0 deficit. Undisciplined penalties plagued Oakland. Coach Jon Gruden professes discipline and structure. With an improved second half (and change of quarterback), they came back to trail by one after a failed 2-point conversion. In the end, the Los Angeles Rams notched a field goal late to win 19-15. The Raiders have a lot of work to do.

NFL CONTROVERSY: And then there is the new rule stating "lowering the head to initiate and make contact with the helmet against an opponent." It has resulted in a large number of penalties and general confusion. Richard Sherman of the 49ers states, "the rule is idiotic and should be dismissed immediately." Unfortunately, it appears destined to effect the result of NFL games this season. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. So far, it has been a distraction from the game.

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TOUGH START FOR NU: Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks notes, "We are going to be OK." It was a tough evening in Yuba City. The team was in the red zone only once in route to a 39-0 loss. The statistics were tilted in the Honkers favor. Although Sparks blamed himself, perhaps the squad was in need of this wake-up call. Sparks is under great pressure to deliver a better result. Let's hope the Miners rise!

BEAR RIVER THROTTLES VIKINGS: The Bruins were triumphant 50-3. Tre Maronic and Hunter Daniels cut a swath through the South Lake Tahoe defense. Austin Slining contributed with a pick-six to make it 14-0. It was a strong opening performance for Calder Kunde. With but a 21 player squad, it was still a case of total dominance. Despite the long drive, they stayed focused on getting the job done. It is the hopeful indication of things to come.

THE LEGENDARY WALT HARRIS: He started in news at KTVU-TV Channel 2 in the Bay Area. However, Walt Harris rose to fame when he became of the voice of the syndicated Roller Derby circuit in the 60's. As it developed great fame and interest, Harris lent his skills to National All-Star Wrestling which also aired on KCRA 3. He had faux run-ins with several wrestlers and his 9 p.m. spot on Channel 2 led the market as he orchestrated success. He moved on to produce all sports for KTVU including the majority of Giants broadcasts in the early days of the San Francisco franchise. Never to be forgotten, Harris died this week at 97.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.