Tigers at Yankees
When the second half began, Detroit was in first in the AL Central, New Yorkwas 8 1/2 games out in the wild-card race, and this series looked like anothermeaningless mid-August matchup. Things have changed: The Tigers' Central leadhas shrunk to a half game, and the Yankees are atop the wild-card hunt. NewYork, meanwhile, has the hottest bats in the game. Since the All-Star break,the Yanks are hitting .329 and second baseman Robinson Cano (left) has a .416average, third best in the AL.
Check listings 7 p.m.
Little League World Series
There's no crying in baseball—except when 16 teams of preadolescents fromaround the globe descend on Williamsport, Pa., every August. Pay attention toKyle Cotcamp, who could be bringing tears to the eyes of more than a fewhitters. The 12-year-old lefthander from Hamilton, Ohio, struck out 33 in threegames in the Great Lakes regional. Today Hamilton takes on Walpole, Mass., inthe first of 32 series games.
ESPN 2 p.m.
Chargers at Rams
San Diego coach Norv Turner says he wants to see QB Philip Rivers throw torunning back LaDainian Tomlinson more this season. Doesn't LT do enough? TheNFL's leading rusher (1,815 yards) was the Chargers' third-leading receiver(508 yards) in 2006. Maybe by the time the preseason ends—this game against St.Louis marks the halfway point—Turner can concoct a way for Tomlinson to snap tohimself and throw his own blocks, too.
CBS 8 p.m.
SI PICK OF THEWEEK
Nastia Liukin, a grizzled gymnastics veteran at age 17, can barely remember atime when she hasn't held a national title. From 2003 to '05 the Parker, Texas,native (above) was the U.S. junior champ, and last year she won the seniornational all-around crown. In San Jose her toughest competitor should be ShawnJohnson. The 15-year-old won golds in the all-around, beam and uneven bars atthe Pan Am Games last month, beating Liukin in each event.
Saturday NBC 8 p.m.; Sunday NBC 7 p.m.
ATP: Cincinnati Masters Final
The tennis community is buzzing about John Isner, the 22-year-old rookie who inhis second ATP event won five matches at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington,D.C., this month before falling to Andy Roddick in the final. That performanceearned the Georgia grad and 2007 NCAA singles runner-up (left) a wild-card bidto Cincy, the last major warmup before the U.S. Open.
CBS 4 p.m.
FIBA Americas Championship
Team USA has a new look: Four players have no international experience. If theyhave questions, they should see Jason Kidd. The Nets guard (right), the onlyU.S. player older than 30 and the only one with an Olympic gold, is 28--0 inforeign competition. To keep him perfect, Team USA must win 10 games in 12 daysin Las Vegas, beginning today against Venezuela.
ESPN2 8 p.m.
BILL KOSTROUN/AP (CANO)
PETER READ MILLER (LIUKIN)
ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (KIDD)
NICK WASS/AP (ISNER)