The sports schedule as it shapes up for this week:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES best-of three final in Omaha, Neb.: UCLA vs. Mississippi State, Monday-Wednesday, 5 p.m., ESPN:
Cody Regis was the starting third baseman and UCLA’s home run leader on the 2010 Bruins team that made it into the championship series before losing to South Carolina, making the All-Tournament Team. He hit .312 that season with 9 homers and 47 RBIs. Now, the Glendora High grad is the only senior on the squad, his stats have dipped in each of season since then, he’s been passed over in the last two MLB drafts, and he’s moved over to second base and managed to his .233 this season, without a homer.
Yet, he poked a ground ball through the hole on the right side of the infield to drive in UCLA’s first run in their eventual 4-1 victory over top-ranked North Carolina last Friday, pushing the Bruins into an improbable position of getting that title that eluded them three years ago. “We’re hot at the right time and we’re playing as a team,” Regis told the Daily Bruin. The four-run outburst was just as unusual for UCLA, which started the CWS with 2-1 victories over LSU and North Carolina State. With eight runs total, UCLA tied 1976 Eastern Michigan for fewest by a team (in the metal-bat era) that still won its first three CWS games.
Another Glendora grad, junior Adam Plutko (9-3, 2.28 ERA in the regular season and the winner over LSU), will take the mound for the Bruins in the opener of the series. MSU’s Bulldogs, meanwhile, kept this from being an all-Pac-12 final, eliminating Oregon State in the other bracket.
BEST OF THE REST:
NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL: CHICAGO vs. BOSTON
Game 6: 5 p.m. at Boston, Channel 4:
Remember when the Bruins faced a 3-2 deficit in the 2011 finals against Vancouver and came back to win it all? “It’s do or die,” said Boston coach Claude Julien. “We’ve been there before and we’ve done well in that situation.”
In that case, we feel it’s necessary to also note:
Game 7: 5 p.m. Wednesday at Chicago, Channel 4
TENNIS: WIMBLEDON, first round begins, 4 a.m., ESPN:
You can’t order a “Bryan Slam” yet at the Denny’s in Camarillo, but give it a couple of weeks. Bob and Mike Bryan, taking an 18-match win streak into the All-England Club, can become the first men in the Open era to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once. Of the twins’ 90 tour titles, 14 are at majors – including Wimbledon in 2006 and ’11. But then, they won the Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles last summer on Wimbledon’s grass courts, and followed it up by taking the U.S. Open of ’12, then this year’s Australian and French titles. Doesn’t that count for something? “We’re going to go to Wimbledon and give it hell,” Mike Bryan told TheTennisSpace.com website. “We know how to play on grass, and we’ll definitely be a tough match for any team.”
Two-time Wimbledon champ and freshly minted French Open repeat winner Rafael Nadal plays today, ridiculously placed as a fifth seed, and may need to knock out Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the quarters and semis before getting to No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final. On the women’s side, it’s already getting sassy between top-seeded Serena Williams and rival Maria Sharapova. Williams, who opens play Tuesday, won her fifth Wimbledon last summer, then circled back to the All England Club to snatch Olympic gold. If she collides again with Sharapova by the time the final rolls around, expect nastiness
The two-week event runs through July 7 on ESPN, ESPN2 and Channel 7.
MLB: DODGERS vs. SAN FRANCISCO, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN2:
Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw are scheduled to meet up in the finale of this three-game series, but whether either former Cy Young winners are NL All-Star bound is another story. Kershaw beat the Giants on opening day with his eighth-inning homer and complete-game shutout, but the Giants have won the last five meetings since. Casey Johnstone, the fifth grader whose recent YouTube graduation speech at his Bay Area elementary school defended his loyalty to the Dodgers during the Giants’ World Series celebration last year, will throw out the first pitch Tuesday.
The series continues:
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Channel 9
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. Prime
MLB: ANGELS at DETROIT, 4 p.m., FSW:
Reigning AL MVP Miggy Cabrera is back in Triple Crown beast mode again — .370 with 20 homers and 75 RBI. A saving grace for the Angels is it seems they’ll miss seeing either Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer.
The series continues:
Wednesday, 4 p.m., FSW
Thursday, 10 a.m., FSW
SWIMMING: PHILLIPS 66 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, from Indianapolis:
Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin will have some Olympic afterglow from London left over for this meet that serves as the national team selection for the world championships in Barcelona (July 16-Aug. 4). Also watch for what’s next from 30-year-old Natalie Coughlin, right, the 12-time Olympic medalists in the backstroke who is concentrating on the 50- and 100-meter sprints this time. Also keep USC All-American sophomore Andrea Kropp on the radar in the 200 breaststroke. Universal Sports Network has the first two nights (3 p.m.) On Saturday’s final day, Channel 4 (3 p.m.) and NBC Sports Network (8 p.m.) finish it up.
MLB: DODGERS vs. PHILADELPHIA, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
A Sandy Koufax bobble head giveaway on the opener of this series seems to be enough of a draw. A year ago, the Dodger Stadium concessionaires offered up a Philly cheese steak hot dog at the “Loaded Dog” stand on the loge level. It could be to die for if they do it again.
The series continues:
Friday-Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Prime
Sunday, 1:10 p.m., Prime
NBA DRAFT, 4:30 p.m., ESPN:
Party poopers continue to call this a weak draft year, with the party line still buzzing over how high (or low) UCLA’s one-and-done Shabazz Muhammad will go. How about No. 9 to Minnesota, so he can team up with Kevin Love? Or No. 16 to Boston? Cleveland is supposed to take Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, and as the name implies (and because of injury), he probably won’t be available until near Christmas. Our favorite name player available: Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Georgia. The Lakers gave away their first-round pick (No. 19) to the Cavs; they have only pick No. 49 in the second round; the Clippers only have the 25th overall choice.
GOLF: 68th WOMEN’S U.S. OPEN, from Southampton, N.Y., first round, noon, ESPN2:
USC freshman Annie Park, the 2013 NCAA individual champ, has qualified for this event at Sebonack Golf Club, just an hour’s drive from her hometown of Levittown, N.Y. Three other Trojans – sophomore Doris Chen, freshman Kyung Kim and incoming freshman Gabriella Then– are joined by UCLA senior Tiffany Lua and incoming freshman Erynne Lee. And then there’s 14-year-old Nelly Korda, who qualified by winning a sectional and will get to play in the field with her older sister, LPGA Tour player Jessica Kordia.
ESPN2 has the first two rounds (noon, Thursday and Friday), Channel 4 has the last two rounds (noon, Saturday and Sunday).
GOLF: PGA AT&T NATIONAL from Bethesda, Md., first round, noon, Golf Channel:
A strained left elbow will keep defending champ Tiger Woods off the course at the event that benefits his foundation. So why are we interested in this again?
Golf Channel has the first two rounds (noon, Thursday and Friday), Channel 2 has the last two rounds (noon, Saturday and Sunday).
MLB: ANGELS at HOUSTON, 5:10 p.m., FSW:
Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez (Chatsworth High) has 10 homers in his last 37 games after not homering in his first 33 games this season – and the streak started with a two-homer night against Texas’ Yu Darvish.
The series continues:
Saturday, 1:10 p.m., FSW
Sunday: 11:10 a.m., FSW
SPARKS at MINNESOTA, 5 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
The top two teams in the Western Conference play each other three times in a 12-day span, including this stop in Minneapolis. The Sparks made it look easy, taking a 50-24 halftime lead in an eventual 28-point win at Staples Center last week, as Lynx stars Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus combined for just eight points (although, to be fair, Sparks star Candace Parker had just five).
Also: The Sparks’ road trip continues in Chicago, 5 p.m. Saturday
CYCLING: 100th TOUR DE FRANCE, first leg, 4:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network:
For the centennial anniversary, the island of Corsica will be where the course begins, hosting the first three stages. And, for the first time since 1988, the 21-stage event covering 2,115 miles will held be only on French soil, ending up in Paris. Unfortunately, defending champ Sir Bradley Wiggins, the Tour’s first British winner, has pulled out because of a recent injury and says he doesn’t have enough time to train. Nor does he think he may ever return to the race. “For me it was always about winning the Tour,” he told the UK’s Guardian. “I’ve done that. If I’m honest I don’t think I’m prepared to make those sacrifices again that I made last year, with my family and so on. I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved. I’m incredibly happy with that.”
Channel 4 has the second leg (Sunday, 9:30 a.m.). The race goes through July 21.
MLS: GALAXY at SAN JOSE, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
On the Richter scale, this one against the Earthquakes may not even register much interest. But they play it anyway.
SOCCER: CONFEDERATIONS CUP final, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2:30 p.m., ESPN:
Thinking of taking public transportation to this event with all the protests happening in Brazil, and none of it having to do with the soccer tournament? Maybe only if you’ve got Pele throwing blocks for you.
The semifinals are Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m., ESPN.
NHL DRAFT, in Newark, N.J., noon, NHL Network:
The Kings don’t have a first-round pick (they gave it to Columbus in the Jeff Carter trade); the Ducks choose at No. 26.