US Open Heat Forces Players to Retire, Phillies Continue Slide

Jonathan Grant | August 29th, 2018

To be a top-tier tennis professional, your cardio and conditioning has to be nearly impeccable. So, to state that tennis pros are more in shape than the average person would be an understatement to say the least. However, even with that being the case, the heat got to a few on Tuesday at the US Open in New York City. And it’s caused quite the controversy in the process. Five players (Leonardo Mayer, Stefano Travaglia, Ricardas Berankis, Mikhail Youzhny, and Filip Krajinovic) were forced to withdraw due to heat-related woes. Other players said that they barely made it through on a day when the temperature rose as high as 98 (not factoring in any humidity). Novak Djokovic squeezed through to the next round, but he admitted he spent the “heat break” between sets three and four naked in an ice bath. It looks like tennis has a problem, and if it’s not fixed it could result in the death or serious injury of a player very soon.

Baseball is all about ups and downs. It’s a marathon, not a sprint the old timers say. Well, that may be true, but we are closing in on the final stretch where people begin to ‘kick’ it up a notch. So the sprint is in sight, and some are struggling to keep up the pace. One of those teams is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies and the Braves have both been surprises that people thought had arrived a little early. They’ve been neck-and-neck all season long. But now it’s starting to look like the Phillies are really sliding back. After a 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals last night and a victory for the Braves, they are 4.5 games out of the NL East lead. Making matters worse is the 2-8 record they have in their last ten games. That kind of play just won’t work, and it could keep them out of the Wild Card spots if it keeps up.

That’s in large part due to the way the St. Louis Cardinals are playing. The Cardinals are on a real surge at the moment, having won eight of their last ten games. They are now 4 games back of the Chicago Cubs. And while it will be tough to see them overtake the Cubbies for the NL Central, they certainly look like they are going to be contending for the Wild Card spots. Their play has been exceptional under Mike Shildt, and because of that, he has officially been named the manager of the team, shedding his ‘interim’ tag. They were just a game over .500 when they dismissed Mike Matheny. Since then, they are 26-12 and are holders of the top Wild Card place. That means they’d be hosting the game if the season ended now. It’s great progress, and they will be very dangerous if and/or when they make it to the postseason.

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