Happy Monday everyone! Shanna McCarriston here, thrilled to be bringing you all the Olympics news -- and more -- of the day. While I added that "and more" in the prior sentence, let's be real: what an opening for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
To the surprise of nobody, American swimmers have absolutely dominated in the pool in the first three days of the Games. However, it hasn't been all chalk for the U.S. ... thanks to the men's basketball team.
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We are going to break all that down (and I will also, very happily, be discussing the Yankees' horrendous loss to the Red Sox) below.
Let's get to it.
📰 What you need to know
1. U.S. swimming's historic weekend: Men finish first in 4x100-meter relay; Katie Ledecky doesn't win gold 🏅
Katie Ledecky is one of the most dominant women's swimmers in the world. Last night she had her first opportunity to win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and, in a bit of a shocker, she ended up with silver.
- It was Ledecky's rival, Australia's Ariarne Titmus, who finished in first in the 400-meter freestyle final with a time of 3:56.69 -- just ahead of the American star, who had a time of 3:57.36
- Ledecky did have a lead in the race, but lost it in the last 100 when Titmus edged ahead
Silver is a great accomplishment (more than I'll ever get) but many expected Ledecky to get gold in this event like she did at the Rio Games five years ago. So, this result is rather surprising. Still, it is the 24-year-old's seventh Olympic medal.
Don't let that result get you down, though. On the whole, it was the most successful opening weekend ever for U.S. swimming. Caeleb Dressel led the American men to gold in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay on Sunday night. That -- and Ledecky's silver -- are two of just the eight medals U.S. swimming won over the opening weekend.
For a deeper look at the historic weekend American swimmers had, check out this breakdown from our Matt Norlander.
2. Team USA men's basketball team drops opener to France 🏀
In what was kind of shocker (but kind of wasn't based off of their performances leading up to these Olympics), Team USA lost its opener, 83-76, to France in the preliminary group stage round on Sunday. It's the team's first Olympic defeat since 2004, and it was an avoidable one as the Americans led by as many as 10 points and enjoyed an eight-point lead with four minutes to play. That's when the wheels came off.
- Team USA didn't make a single basket over the last four and a half minutes
- The French closed the game with a 16-2 run
- With under a minute to play, the U.S. missed an incredible five shots on one possession, the final three of which were wide-open 3-pointers from Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday
Listen, the American squad is still the most talented team internationally. But they are still losing. The team needs to make some serious changes if they are going to have a chance in Tokyo.
Our hoops scribe Brad Botkin brought up a great point in his post-game column about what one of the problems for Team USA was against France:
- Botkin: "These aren't NBA games. The American scorers are not getting the touch fouls they enjoy in the NBA. They don't get to stem runs or cold shooting stretches by getting to the free-throw line with ease. You earn your points in FIBA ball. France's defense was aggressive on the ball with size in the lane. It was tough sledding, and the Americans simply couldn't get enough buckets."
What does this mean for Team USA going forward? There are 12 teams competing for gold, split into three groups. Each group will face the other three teams from the group for three group stage games. Teams finishing in first and second place in each group advance to the quarterfinals and the third-best overall team will also advance.
The loss does not knock Team USA out, but it doesn't put them in the best position, either.
3. Monday's Olympic schedule: More chances for U.S. swimming 🏅
Now that you're caught up on what's happened at the Olympics the last few days, let's look ahead. Here's what you should be paying attention to later tonight at the Games. Spoiler alert: it's all about swimming right now.
Swimming finals, which begin at 9:30 p.m. ET:
- Men's 200m freestyle
- Women's 100m backstroke
- Men's 100m backstroke
- Women's 100m backstroke
4. MLB weekend winners and losers: No no-hitters ⚾
The New York Yankees had a four-run lead against the Red Sox in the eighth inning on Sunday. Can you guess what happened next? If you guessed the Sox won 5-4, congrats! You win!
The game actually had a lot more going on than the score reflected and it all started with Yankees starter Domingo Germán going through seven innings without allowing a hit. An Alex Verdugo double in the eighth ended the no-hit bid. But it was still looking great for the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth, with a 4-0 lead. Then things got interesting.
- Reliever Jonathan Loaisiga replaced Germán
- Loaisiga gave up a double to Hunter Renfroe and singles to Christian Vazquez and Franchy Cordero
- Enrique Hernandez doubled, and the Yankees then called Zack Britton to the mound
- Britton got two outs, but they were an RBI groundout and sac fly
- Red Sox take 5-4 lead headed into the ninth inning
- Red Sox win 5-4
This makes 19 bullpen losses and 14 blown saves for New York, who currently sit at 51-47 and are nine games back of Boston. The Red Sox are 61-39 and are in first place in the AL East.
Besides Germán's no-hit bid, we also nearly saw a record-setting no-hitter on Saturday night (Angels' southpaw Patrick Sandoval took a no-hitter into the ninth inning). It would have set a new MLB record of eight no-hitters in one season, meaning the record-setting no-hitter is the biggest loser of the weekend, according to our baseball scribes.
For a deeper look at the winners and losers from the weekend that was around the league, click here.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Patrick Mahomes says he won't have an Aaron Rodgers situation with the Chiefs
- LiAngelo Ball, the brother of Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, is expected to sign with Hornets for Summer League
- Stay up to date with how Team USA and the rest of the countries are doing with our Olympics medal tracker
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Braves vs. Mets, 5:10 p.m. | NYM -160 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Blue Jays vs. Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | BOS -114 | TV: MLB.TV
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
Can I just put "anything Simone Biles does" as the best thing I saw on the internet for the rest of time? While yesterday wasn't the most incredible performance we've seen from her (there's a lot of competition there), or the highest of stakes, there's no doubting that she moves differently than the other Olympic gymnasts. Watching her compete, you know you're watching the best of the best and if this was a teaser of what skills are to come, it's going to be fun (as usual) seeing her compete at the Games.