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Cubs are first team in baseball to 80 wins after Jake Arrieta's gem

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

Cross another milestone off the list for the World Series-favorite Chicago Cubs. They became the first team in baseball to reach 80 wins by beating the Padres 5-3 on Tuesday night.

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This wasn’t a surprise since nobody else in the league is particularly close. The Nats and Rangers each have 73 wins, so it would be at least another week for them to reach 80. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ win gives them a 13-game lead in the NL Central. It might time soon to start counting down magic numbers on the North Side.

Leading the way in this one was ace Jake Arrieta, who seems to have fully rebounded from a rough July. Arrieta is back to being one of the best pitchers in the league this month, winning each of his starts thus far.

Jake Arrieta helped the Cubs to their league-high 80th win. (AP)
Jake Arrieta helped the Cubs to their league-high 80th win. (AP)

His best performance of August came Tuesday as he pitched eight shutout innings, striking out six. The Padres were able to score three runs in the ninth to make the final score more respectable, but the Cubs were on them early. Kris Bryant homered in the third inning, then Addison Russell added another in the fifth.

The first to 80 wins doesn’t make a club the automatic champion, but the Cubs keep checking all the right boxes as the season goes on.

TOP PERFORMERS

Yordano Ventura: It wasn’t the most dynamic pitching performance of the night, but with the Kansas City Royals looking to run their winning streak to nine, Yordano Ventura took the mound and delivered six shutout innings. That and a sixth-inning RBI single by Lorenzo Cain were enough for a 1-0 Kansas City win. And, yep, that’s nine in a row.

Ivan Nova: Looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates are already working their pitching magic with Ivan Nova, who they acquired at the trade deadline. Nova turned in his best start of the season, a complete game in which he allowed six hits and one run as the Pirates beat the Astros 7-1. Nova needed just 98 pitches to finish the job.

Adrian Gonzalez: He didn’t have eight RBIs like on Monday, but A-Gon led the Dodgers’ offense once again. He had two hits and three RBIs in the Dodgers’ 9-5 win over the rival San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers took Game 1 of this important series, meaning their NL West lead increased to two games.

MUST-SEE PLAY

The Reds got a combination of good things en route to a 3-0 win over the Rangers. Joey Votto had two RBIs. Dan Straily pitched six shutout innings. And Billy Hamilton gave us the defensive gem of the night. He traveled 123 feet on the ground for this amazing grab, registering 22 mph on Statcast and finishing it with a diving grab. Bravo, Mr. Hamilton.

REST OF THE SCOREBOARD

Orioles 8, Nats 1: Chris Davis hits his 30th homer of the season for Baltimore and Mark Trumbo even got a couple of hits that weren’t homers. Imagine that.

Red Sox 2, Rays 1: Things are going so right for the Red Sox right now that even Clay Buchholz had a great game, striking out nine in 6.1 innings of one-run ball.

Blue Jays 7, Angels 2: Russell Martin knocks three hits and drives in two runs for the Jays. That kept them even with the Red Sox atop the AL East.

White Sox 9, Phillies 1: Jose Abreu homers for his third straight game.

Brewers 6, Rockies 4: The Rockies get 10 Ks from starter Jon Gray, but the Brewers managed six runs off the Rockies anyway.

Tigers 8, Twins 3: Detroit scores three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings for the comeback win.

Mets 7, Cardinals 4: Mets starter Jon Niese leaves with an injury in the first inning, but the Mets offense wasn’t phased. Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera each notched three hits.

Braves 7, D-backs 4: Matt Kemp has two hits, including a three-run go-ahead double in the eighth inning, to lead the Braves.

Yankees 5, Mariners 1: CC Sabathia tosses seven innings of one-run, three-hit ball to stifle the M’s.

A’s 9, Indians 1: A’s bats beat up on Danny Salazar, who gave up six runs in four innings.

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

– – – – – – –

Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know midweek.
1. Google X’s internet balloons have a new boss to bring the tech to market. Project Loon wants to use high-flying balloons to provide wireless

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Oil prices fall on U.S. crude stocks build; fears over China demand

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Wednesday as an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories weighed on markets, along with concerns that Chinese crude demand could falter as Beijing clamps down on alleged tax evasion in the oil industry.

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Older, wiser Alexander Radulov sees Stanley Cup potential with Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens
Canadiens

In a Monday meeting with local media, Montreal Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov did not hide from his past problems.

Radulov, who signed a one-year $5.75 million contract with the Habs this summer, noted that he’s older and more mature and that his learning experiences from his younger days could help the Montreal Canadiens reach their Stanley Cup goal.

The 30-year-old Radulov has left the league twice for the KHL after two separate tenures with the Nashville Predators. In his second time with the Predators he was suspended during the second-round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes for a curfew violation.

“Well, I don’t want to say it was a mistake, or maybe it was a tough decision. I didn’t do it in the right way, but like I said before it’s in the past,” Radulov said when asked if there was any regrets on leaving the NHL. “I did what I did and there’s no point to look back, you know like right now. I’m older, I have family and my family is really excited we’re moving to Montreal and we’ll see.”

Radulov has spent the last four years with CSKA in the KHL scoring 78 goals and 238 points in 131 games. He spent 2006-07 and 2007-08 in Nashville and then returned for nine games in 2011-12. In 154 NHL games, Radulov has notched 102 points. For many years, he has been widely considered one of the top players not in the NHL.

On Monday, Radulov didn’t focus on personal goals. Instead he often spoke of team success and how that could help individual numbers.

“The first goal I want to win,” Radulov said. “I want to win every night. It doesn’t matter who’s going to score and put up the points. We want to win. It’s a team game and I think if the team does successful, everybody will be successful and every player will do good.”

Radulov noted he chose the Canadiens because the organization gave him a solid opportunity for a championship. He also spoke of his positive experience playing in Quebec in junior with the Quebec Remparts, and how he enjoyed his time there.

“I’m excited to be back in the NHL first of all and obviously be part of Montreal,” Radulov said. “It’s a huge club and Original Six and always a hockey town and they always want to go for a run for a Cup and that’s the reason I chose Montreal because I want to play and I want to compete for a Cup. That’s the main thing.”

Added Radulov, “When I first got to Canada, it was Quebec City. I played there for two years. It wasn’t NHL, it was a junior league but I had a good experience. We had a good group of guys there and we played and won the Memorial Cup and it was a lot of fun. I saw those fans, the young ones. They were the happiest people in the world. What can be better when you make people, fans happy? At the end of the line we all play for fans, for people who come to the game.”

Radulov said he had spoken with coach Michel Therrien but didn’t go into deep details on the conversation. Radulov was specifically questioned about Therrien’s defensive nature and whether that could be an issue, since Radulov’s game revolves around offense and scoring.

“I think it won’t be a problem because they will show on the video the way they want us to play,” Radulov said. “As a player I have to come every day and try to do that thing that coach asks me to do and tells us to do and I think we’ll be all right.”

Reporters asked specifically about the curfew issue with the Predators and Radulov owned up to his mistake. But he also intimated that he thought the organization could have handled the announcement better.

“Well, you know, like I said, it’s in the past obviously and it was – I missed curfew. I’m not going to lie or say something but the way everything was announced, I’m not agree with it, but like I said, it’s in the past and I don’t really want to get into it because I explained it many times,” Radulov said. “Like I said, right now I have family. I have no time to go somewhere and I really don’t want because I’m getting older and I have to take care of myself and be in shape and be 100 percent every day. I know how to do that and I really like that I’m here right now.”

Former Predators coach Barry Trotz recently spoke with Puck Daddy about Radulov and said there were no regrets with how the team dealt with the player’s discipline in 2012.

“It’s a privilege to play in the playoffs,” Trotz said. “I don’t think I’d do anything different. Actually I know I wouldn’t do anything different.”

But he also noted he thought Montreal was the right type of market for Radulov.

“I think he’s going to come and he’s going to do very well in Montreal,” Trotz said. “I think he’s going to embrace the spotlight. He’s not a guy who is afraid of playing in a big market or a critical market so I think he’ll do fine. When I had him he was a young man. Even the second time he was a young man. I think he’s a lot older and a lot more mature and I think he still has lots of games. I think it’ll work out.”

The last several years in the KHL, Radulov has been asked to take on more of a leadership role. He said that this, plus the recent birth of his child, has changed him and softened him to a degree.

“When you get older, it’s different because you look at some things, like hockey, differently on the ice and off the ice. A lot of things change. When you get older you might not do the same things like you do before on the ice or off the ice. Time flies as you get older and things change,” Radulov said. “I was there playing and we had a pretty young team, and I had that thing I was a leader and playing a lot of minutes and tried to lead by example in the locker room, on the ice and off the ice. It’s helped me a lot. It’s changed my vision and the way I have to work and have to be”

Radulov understood that a multi-year contract wasn’t really an option when he decided to look into rejoining the NHL, and he was fine with that. He’s played most of his professional career in Russia and knows he has to show his game can translate back to North America again before he can be rewarded with more security in this league.

“All players want a longer-term deal but in my situation right now the NHL has been changed and I wasn’t here for four years and it is what it is and Marc (Bergevin) has been talking to me a lot and he came to New York, we met there, we sat and had a good conversation and we agreed to that deal,” Radulov said. “I’m happy and hopefully they’re happy and I’ll try to prove to myself first of all and to everybody here and fans and managers that they believe in me and thanks for that shot.”

– – – – – – –

Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

This Oscar contender was shot using a totally new technology that theaters can't even handle

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Wall St. flat as biotechs offset energy

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What were the top 3 best-selling items at Rio Olympics?

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Rio Olympics had two “megastores” open during the Games. One was situated inside the Olympic Park, while the other was located on Copacabana Beach. “We had an average of 85,000 visitors at both stores every day,” said Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 spokesman.

But what were they buying?

According to organizers, here are the top three best-selling items at the Rio Olympics:

3. Copo Elegance Dose (a.k.a. a box with three shot glasses)

Yahoo Sports
Yahoo Sports

These three shot glasses with the logos of different Olympic sports were sold out at the Olympic Park megastore by Sunday’s Closing Ceremonies. The retailed for 35 Brazialian Real, or about $12 US, which is a pretty decent bargain for officially licensed shot glasses.

But they’re also an investment! These ones are selling for 200 Real on an auction site.

2. Flip-Flips

Yahoo Sports
Yahoo Sports

There was a wall of flip-flops at the megastores that needed constant restocking as people bought up the Havaianas brand footwear. According to the organizers, they’re “quintessentially carioca – colorful, easy-going, cool.”

They’re also only about $5 US, and really, what officially branded item have you ever purchased that cost less than a McDonald’s value meal? A pen, maybe?

These ones – featuring Rio 2016 mascot Vinicius, a mixture of all Brazlian animals that also has all of their powers – were among the best sellers. That’s because Vinicius equals cash money, as evidenced by our top-selling item:

1. This Dumb Hat

 

Rio 2016
Rio 2016

Hats in general were huge sellers at the Rio Games, with every one that was branded with the Olympics’ logo sold out at the main megastore by the Closing Ceremonies. They retailed for 55 Real, or about $17 US.

But yes, this was the best-seller: The goofy Vinicius head hat, compete with plush green tail/mullet. It was the must-have headgear for the Games, and it quickly sold out in both youth and adult sizes, as apparently adults have no shame at the Olympics.

Overall, sales at the Rio megastores were 11 percent higher than the original targets from Rio 2016 organizers, according to Andrada.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Listen to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski podcast from Rio on GRANDSTANDING, featuring a Ryan Lochte Controversy Edition with Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star!

Live from Rio: Ryan Lochte, international fugitive; the strange side of the Games:

Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast
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