The conclusion of Reno’s home stand and the following eight road games will dictate if Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate will contend for a playoff spot or bow out.
Eleven losses in 18 games paired with Fresno’s six game winning streak, not far removed from a 12-game winning streak, has melted the division lead to just two games – the smallest it’s been since June 4.
And now the schedule gets turbulent.
Salt Lake, the first-place squad from the Pacific Southern division, comes to town for four games. The Bees have won their last five of eight against the Aces, taking three of four in Utah in late June.
Reno then goes to Colorado Springs for four. The Sky Sox have an eight-game lead in the American Northern Division and are nearly unbeatable at home, where they have a 33-13 record.
The trip concludes with four at Oklahoma City. The Dodgers (50-43) would be in first place in the Pacific Southern Division.
If the slide continues, and Fresno continues to pile up wins, the Aces could come back home in the role of chaser and momentum going the wrong direction.
Calling the American Century Championship
Nobody likes listening to someone brag unprovoked, let alone read the bragging.
So, let me use the space to do that latter and see if anyone even ends up reading the next paragraph. Or even next sentence.
The American Century Championship is not about golf. Well, it is. It’s a golf tournament after all. However, it’s really about the experience for the fans, as well as the celebrities. For many, particularly the regulars, it’s the one time a year to hang out in one of the most beautiful places in the world and play some golf. It’s a reunion of sorts for several.
But there is a trophy, and prize money, so the golf becomes a factor for the 10 percent of the field that has a legitimate shot. And that number is generous. They aren’t the only ones competing.
Each year Harrahs Lake Tahoe Race and Sports Book handicaps the tournament. While taking pictures with your favorite celebrities, you may also encourage them. Gas money home could depend on it.
I joined the fun on my radio show last week and made my two predictions: The winner and my dark horse.
I liked the co-favorite, Mark Mulder, to become the first to win the ACC for the third-straight year. But he only paid out at 3-to-1 (Tony Romo was also listed at 3-to-1). My sleeper was Jeremy Roenick.
While doing a three-hour show consecutive days during the tournament last year, I watched Roenick on the range and he handles a golf club just as well as a hockey stick. Harrahs is more than aware of that and listed him at 12-to-1, tied with John Elway for the eight-best odds. A $20 bet would’ve turned into $240 had he won.
On Sunday, Roenick matched Mulder for the best score of the day (25 points) in the modified stableford scoring format. On Saturday, he turned in a 20 – one of six north of 19. Friday cost him. His 11 points put him in a tie for 30th going into the final 36 holes.
He ended up finishing fifth. He didn’t lose. He just ran out of holes.
I’m wrong much more than I’m right. So, let me have this one (if you took my Mulder advice).
Okay, brag session over.
Northern Nevada summer quickly passing
The American Century Championship has come and gone and summer, per usual, is quickly fading.
Left on the docket is the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf and Country Club. That is just two weeks away.
Nevada fall football camp is a couple weeks away. The first day of school for Washoe County School District Students is less than three weeks away (Aug. 7). High school football games start on Aug. 25 – a little over five weeks away. Nevada’s Sept. 2 opener at Northwestern is just over six weeks out.
Haven’t gotten up to Tahoe as much as you’d like? Missed out on that coveted camping trip? Failed to acquire that stereotypical sunburn that leaves you inside for a week?
Time to make moves. The football takeover looms.
Nathan can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ was named the best column in the state of Nevada (community division) by the Nevada Press Association. It runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning. Nathan’s weekly radio show airs Fridays at noon on ESPN Radio 94.5 FM.