Hooray for not-so-great expectations: Baseball's worst team had two—count 'em, two—winning streaks last week, its first consecutive W's since July 4--5. Said righthander Craig Stammen (2.60 ERA in his last five starts), "Two wins in a row, you can't beat that." Sadly, through Sunday, the Nats hadn't since June 20.
Last Friday, at the tender age of 51, Ron Hornaday (right) became the first NASCAR truck series driver to win four races in a row. Two days later Mark Martin, 50, finished second at the Brickyard (page 39) to solidify his place in the Chase. "It's so unbelievable," said Hornaday.
As they did in Beijing, the Americans staged a furious rally to win gold in the 4×100 relay at the world championships in Rome. Michael Phelps had the slowest leg; anchor Nathan Adrian made up for it. "Relays are raced as a team," Phelps said. "All four guys swam a great race."
Thanks to Jeets, last week was not a good one for Red Sox fans. His Yankees replaced Boston atop the AL East, and on Friday the Captain—who was hitting .321 at week's end—picked up career hit number 2,655, pushing past Ted Williams on the alltime list.
After creeping to within four games of first in the AL West, Seattle got swept at home by the Indians for the first time in 11 years. Suddenly 7½ back, would the M's go to fire-sale mode? "You look over at [free-agent-to-be Jarrod Washburn's] locker and you wonder if you're going to see him again," said DH Mike Sweeney.
Welcome to the NBA's most cursed franchise, Blake Griffin. In just his third summer league game for L.A., the top pick in the draft strained his right shoulder, knocking him out of the USA Basketball camp in Vegas (page 34). He'll miss a month but won't need surgery.
Presumably expecting beer, thieves in Melbourne boosted the contents of a refrigerated truck: 58 curling stones—a third of the country's supply. Said one distraught curler, "They're useless to anyone else ... apart from as a doorstop or propping up a coffee table."
The Yanks were hot in spite of A-Rod, not because of him. He hit only .200 with five RBIs during the team's 9--1 run, dropping his average to .248. And as if he needed more tabloid coverage, he was photographed smooching Kate Hudson on Family Picnic Day at Yankee Stadium.