NBA season tips off today: Lakers, Clippers and what you need to know

Another NBA season has arrived, and there’s plenty of reason to believe the next team to hoist the Larry O’Brien championship trophy could be one of the two that call Staples Center home.

The Lakers open their season Tuesday night with a home game against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors (7 p.m., TNT), while the Clippers travel to San Francisco for their season opener on Thursday night (7 p.m., TNT), also against the Warriors.

LeBron James and the Lakers spent training camp and preseason play trying to blend Russell Westbrook and a largely overhauled, veteran-heavy roster together while laughing off the steady stream of old-guy jokes and memes being volleyed in their direction.

Paul George and the Clippers are convinced that the confidence they gained and the chemistry they forged during their breakthrough run to the Western Conference finals will help offset the uncertainty of if/when All-Star Kawhi Leonard will rejoin them after rehabbing his knee injury. Will he make it back before the playoffs? If he does, will anyone want to tangle with them in a first-round series?

Lakers beat writer Kyle Goon and Clippers beat writer Mirjam Swanson have provided plenty to get you ready for the season ahead, and they’ll keep you informed until the final buzzer sounds in June. If you’re a fan of either team, you should be following Kyle and/or Mirjam on Twitter, if you’re not already doing so.

In case you missed anything recently, here is a list of links to some content to help get you caught up:

LAKERS

Russell Westbrook got what he wanted, but will he capitalize?

LeBron James’ patience will be tested by the team he helped create

Lakers are a target for scrutiny after superstar moves this summer

Lakers hope ‘chaos’ of off-ball movement adds to their offense

Lakers see their age as an advantage, not a punchline

With Trevor Ariza out, Lakers poised to lean on their size

In Lakers’ leisure world, Westbrook is a raging fountain of youth

DeAndre Jordan settles into new phase of his career

Lakers add Avery Bradley, bolstering defensive depth

Lakers rookie Austin Reaves thrust into duty as injuries mount

Lakers 2021-22 roster: A closer look

Lakers 2021-22 schedule: 5 can’t-miss games to watch

CLIPPERS

Paul George ready to lead with expanded role

Clippers miss Kawhi Leonard but appreciate his coaching

Tyronn Lue gets rave reviews for his in-game moves

Clippers’ Luke Kennard is serious about big fish, big shots

• Clippers won’t rush Kawhi Leonard’s recovery, Lawrence Frank says

Clippers believe Eric Bledsoe will fit right back in

Justise Winslow getting acclimated to wide-ranging role

Clippers celebrate Intuit Dome groundbreaking in Inglewood

Will the Clippers be ready when their Inglewood arena is done in 2024?

Clippers’ Steve Ballmer optimistic about short- and long-term prospects

Clippers 2021-22 roster: A closer look

Clippers 2021-22 schedule: 5 can’t-miss games to watch

LEAGUE-WIDE

Seemingly every title contender has serious question marks

Western Conference preview and predictions

Eastern Conference preview and predictions

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High school football: All of the scores from Friday’s Week 8 games


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All of the scores from the CIF-SS and L.A. City high school football games on Friday, Oct. 15.

Friday’s games

CIF-SS

ALMONT LEAGUE

Alhambra 40, Montebello 27

Bell Gardens 35, San Gabriel 0

AMBASSADOR LEAGUE

Western Christian 36, Arrowhead Christian 25

ANGELUS LEAGUE

Loyola 44, Crespi 20

BASELINE LEAGUE

Rancho Cucamonga 34, Upland 7

BAY LEAGUE

Culver City 35, Peninsula 23

Palos Verdes 44, Redondo 27

BIG 4 LEAGUE

Garden Grove 20, Katella 14 (OT)

Marina 24, Segerstrom 23

BIG VIII LEAGUE

Centennial 48, Norco 24

King 24, Corona 12

CAMINO LEAGUE

Camarillo 41, Moorpark 13

CAMINO REAL LEAGUE

St. Genevieve 49, Bishop Montgomery 0

St. Pius X-St. Matthias 55, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 6

CANYON LEAGUE

Agoura 47, Royal 14

Simi Valley 41, Thousand Oaks 7

CHANNEL LEAGUE

Pacifica 51, Lompoc 26

Rio Mesa 36, Dos Pueblos 3

Santa Barbara 24, Oxnard 17

CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

Cajon 54, Beaumont 6

Citrus Valley 59, Yucaipa 14

Redlands East Valley 20, Redlands 14 (2OT)

CITRUS COAST LEAGUE

Hueneme 28, Fillmore 27

Nordhoff 48, Carpinteria 0

CRESTVIEW LEAGUE

Villa Park 31, El Modena 28

Yorba Linda 30, Foothill 27

DEL REY LEAGUE

La Salle 33, Mary Star 14

DEL RIO LEAGUE

La Serna 17, California 6

Santa Fe 42, El Rancho 14

DESERT EMPIRE LEAGUE

Palm Desert 31, Xavier Prep 9

Palm Springs 17, La Quinta 14

Shadow Hills 30, Rancho Mirage 7

DESERT SKY LEAGUE

Victor Valley 35, Barstow 14

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

Coachella Valley 28, Cathedral City 21

Twentynine Palms 27, Desert Hot Springs 22

Yucca Valley 67, Desert Mirage 0

EMPIRE LEAGUE

Cypress 13, Pacifica 8

Valencia 42, Crean Lutheran 10

Tustin 55, Kennedy 14

FOOTHILL LEAGUE

Hart 27, Valencia 21 (OT)

Saugus 42, Golden Valley 7

West Ranch 35, Canyon Country Canyon 8

FREEWAY LEAGUE

Buena Park 22, Fullerton 0

La Habra 48, Sonora 27

Sunny Hills 22, Troy 20

GARDEN GROVE LEAGUE

Rancho Alamitos 37, Loara 9

GOLD COAST LEAGUE

Campbell Hall 36, Viewpoint 0

Rio Hondo Prep 42, Brentwood 18

GOLDEN LEAGUE

Antelope Valley 56, Lancaster 20

Highland 20, Palmdale 14

Quartz Hill 52, Littlerock 0

HACIENDA LEAGUE

Walnut 41, Nogales 0

INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE

Riverside Poly 35, Moreno Valley 22

IVY LEAGUE

Temescal Canyon 34, Rancho Verde 22

MARMONTE LEAGUE

St. Bonaventure 63, Calabasas 0

Oaks Christian 17, Westlake 2

MIRAMONTE LEAGUE

Bassett 37, Garey 7

La Puente 47, Ganesha 6

MISSION LEAGUE

Alemany 45, Bishop Amat 35

Chaminade 34, Notre Dame 21

Serra 28, Cathedral 0

MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE

Arroyo 45, Rosemead 0

El Monte 14, Sourh El Monte 6

Gabrielino 27, Mountain View 22

MOJAVE RIVER LEAGUE

Apple Valley 51, Hesperia 0

Oak Hills 50, Serrano 7

MONTVIEW LEAGUE

Azusa 32, Gladstone 6

MOORE LEAGUE

Jordan 74, Cabrillo 6

Long Beach Poly 42, Compton 0

MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE

Tahquitz 31, Citrus Hill 6

MOUNTAIN WEST LEAGUE

Ayala 24, Alta Loma 6

Bonita 21, Charter Oak 10

MT. BALDY 4 LEAGUE

Baldwin Park 36, Wilson 7

Montclair 42, Workman 8

NORTH HILLS LEAGUE

El Dorado 21, Esperanza 6

OCEAN LEAGUE

Hawthorne 22, Morningside 6

Leuzinger 51, Beverly Hills 0

OLYMPIC LEAGUE

Cerritos Valley Christian 43, Whittier Christian 0

ORANGE LEAGUE

Anaheim 41, Savanna 28

Magnolia 36, Century 0

Western 49, Santa Ana Valley 0

ORANGE COAST LEAGUE

Santa Ana 59, Estancia 7

PAC 4 LEAGUE

Laguna Beach 54, Westminster 14

Ocean View 26, Godinez 6

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Muir 34, Crescenta Valley 21

Pasadena 35, Burroughs 7

PACIFIC HILLS LEAGUE

Irvine 47, Dana Hills 28

Laguna Hills 10, Portola 0

PACIFIC VALLEY LEAGUE

Northwood 51, University 7

Woodbridge 28, Beckman 15

PACIFIC VIEW LEAGUE

Buena 52, San Marcos 26

Channel Islands 23, Cabrillo 0

Santa Ynez 23, Ventura 7

PIONEER LEAGUE

Lawndale 34, West Torrance 0

North Torrance 26, South Torrance 20

Torrance 27, El Segundo 20

RIO HONDO LEAGUE

La Canada 48, Temple City 0

Monrovia 63, San Marino 13

Pasadena Poly 28, South Pasadena 9

RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE

Arlington 10, Hillcrest 0

Norte Vista 26, Ramona 10

Patriot 40, La Sierra 7

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Eisenhower 55, Colton 0

Summit 58, Grand Terrace 24

SAN ANTONIO LEAGUE

Claremont 43, Don Lugo 7

West Covina 35, Chaffey 14

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY LEAGUE

Downey 39, Dominguez 7

Warren 40, Paramount 6

SEA VIEW LEAGUE

El Toro 31, Capistrano Valley 21

Trabuco Hills 30, Aliso Niguel 14

SIERRA LEAGUE

Covina 42, Rowland 3

SKYLINE LEAGUE

Rialto 34, Bloomington 24

Rim of the World 56, Fontana 8

SOUTH COAST LEAGUE

Mission Viejo 45, Tesoro 3

San Clemente 16, San Juan Hills 10

SOUTH VALLEY LEAGUE

Nuview Bridge 21, California Military 0

SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE

Chaparral 55, Temecula Valley 27

Vista Murrieta 38, Great Oak 6

SUBURBAN LEAGUE

La Mirada 35, Norwalk 10

SUNBELT LEAGUE

Riverside North 41, Hemet 7

SUNKIST LEAGUE

Kaiser 52, San Gorgonio 0

SUNSET LEAGUE

Edison 28, Corona del Mar 20

Newport Harbor 45, Huntington Beach 27

TRINITY LEAGUE

Mater Dei 56, Santa Margarita 3

St. John Bosco 49, Orange Lutheran 25

VALLE VISTA LEAGUE

San Dimas 21, Los Altos 13

NONLEAGUE

Paraclete 34, Rancho Christian 14

St. Margaret’s 42, Capistrano Valley Christian 0

Village Christian 59, Glendale 39

Vista del Lago 69, Perris 12

Valley View 28, Riverside Notre Dame 18

Dymally 46, Hoover 0

Mira Costa 35, Washington Union (Fresno) 26

Saguaro (Ariz.) 24, Sierra Canyon 7

Whittier 28, Fairfax 7

 

L.A. CITY

CENTRAL LEAGUE

Marquez 41, Mendez 6

Maywood CES 40, Bernstein 14

COLISEUM LEAGUE

Crenshaw 55, View Park 0

Dorsey 35, Hawkins 0

Locke 18, Fremont 5

EAST VALLEY LEAGUE

Arleta 34, Sun Valley Poly 0

Chavez 40, Monroe 6

Verdugo Hills 21, Grant 18

EASTERN LEAGUE

Garfield 41, Legacy 9

South Gate 20, L.A. Roosevelt 16

EXPOSITION LEAGUE

Jefferson 46, Rivera 12

Manual Arts 48, Santee 38

MARINE LEAGUE

Carson 46, Narbonne 6

San Pedro 69, Gardena 0

METRO LEAGUE

New Designs Watts 52, Belmont 12

NORTHERN LEAGUE

Eagle Rock 56, L.A. Wilson 14

Franklin 47, Torres 0

Lincoln 49, L.A. Marshall 0

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

L.A. 67, West Adams 0

VALLEY MISSION LEAGUE

Canoga Park 28, Granada Hills Kennedy 6

Reseda 53, Van Nuys 0

Sylmar 12, San Fernando 7

WEST VALLEY LEAGUE

Birmingham 28, Granada Hills 0

Chatsworth 33, El Camino Real 30

WESTERN LEAGUE

Palisades 63, L.A. Hamilton 7

Venice 14, Westchester 13

NONLEAGUE

Panorama 38, Angelou 16

 

8 MAN

CIF-SS

Thacher 44, Santa Clara 6

Chadwick 52, Windward 35

Grace Brethren 61, Hillcrest Christian 0

L.A. CITY

Sotomayor 50, Animo Robinson 12

 

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High school football: All of the scores from Friday’s Week 7 games


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All of the scores from the CIF-SS and L.A. high school football games on Friday, Oct. 8.

FRIDAY’S SCORES

CIF-SS

ALMONT LEAGUE

Bell Gardens 28, Montebello 7

Schurr 42, Alhambra 22

AMBASSADOR LEAGUE

Ontario Christian 48, Arrowhead Christian 7

BASELINE LEAGUE

Chino Hills 20, Rancho Cucamonga 6

Upland 27, Damien 22

BAY LEAGUE

Culver City 42, Redondo 13

Palos Verdes 33, Mira Costa 0

Peninsula 42, Santa Monica 0

BIG VIII LEAGUE

Eastvale Roosevelt 42, King 6

Norco 55, Corona 13

CANYON LEAGUE

Simi Valley 42, Royal 6

CHANNEL LEAGUE

Oxnard 21, Dos Pueblos 14

Pacifica 24, Santa Barbara 21

Rio Mesa 35, Lompoc 31

CITRUS BELT LEAGUE

Beaumont 59, Redlands 0

Cajon 42, Yucaipa 6

Citrus Valley 57, Redlands East Valley 7

CITRUS COAST LEAGUE

Fillmore 60, Carpinteria 0

Nordhoff 21, Santa Paula 14

CROSS VALLEY LEAGUE

Riverside Prep 24, Vasquez 12

Webb 33, Silver Valley 30

DEL REY LEAGUE

Salesian 57, Harvard-Westlake 35

St. Anthony 37, Mary Star 14

DEL RIO LEAGUE

El Rancho 50, Whittier 21

DESERT EMPIRE LEAGUE

Palm Desert 37, La Quinta 0

Rancho Mirage 21, Palm Springs 19

Xavier Prep 20, Shadow Hills 7

DESERT SKY LEAGUE

Barstow 46, Adelanto 44 (2OT)

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

Cathedral City 52, Banning 16

Desert Hot Springs 46, Desert Mirage 7

Indio 16, Yucca Valley 15

Twentynine Palms 15, Coachella Valley 14

EMPIRE LEAGUE

Cypress 35, Tustin 27

Pacifica 45, Valencia 42

Kennedy 21, Crean Lutheran 17

FOOTHILL LEAGUE

Saugus 28, Hart 6

Valencia 52, Canyon Country Canyon 0

West Ranch 37, Golden Valley 14

FREEWAY LEAGUE

La Habra 50, Fullerton 3

Sunny Hills 41, Buena Park 6

Troy 50, Sonora 14

GARDEN GROVE LEAGUE

Santiago 42, Loara 7

Los Amigos 21, Bolsa Grande 14

Rancho Alamitos 35, La Quinta 0

GOLD COAST LEAGUE

Campbell Hall 34, Rio Hondo Prep 27

GOLDEN LEAGUE

Highland 65, Lancaster 6

Palmdale 50, Eastside 0

Quartz Hill 25, Antelope Valley 6

IVY LEAGUE

Rancho Verde 50, Riverside Notre Dame 8

Temescal Canyon 21, Heritage 14

MIRAMONTE LEAGUE

Garey 47, Ganesha 41 (OT)

MISSION LEAGUE

Alemany 47, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 21

Bishop Amat 47, Cathedral 0

Serra 16, Chaminade 12

MISSION VALLEY LEAGUE

Arroyo 42, South El Monte 6

El Monte 12, Mountain View 7

MOJAVE RIVER LEAGUE

Apple Valley 63, Sultana 0

MOORE LEAGUE

Long Beach Jordan 21, Long Beach Wilson 20

Millikan 42, Compton 6

MOUNTAIN PASS LEAGUE

Citrus Hill 38, Perris 0

Tahquitz 28, West Valley 27 (OT)

MOUNTAIN VALLEY LEAGUE

Miller 42, Rubidoux 14

OCEAN LEAGUE

Inglewood 59, Hawthorne 0

Leuzinger 56, Compton Centennial 0

Morningside 6, Beverly Hills 0

OLYMPIC LEAGUE

Cerritos Valley Christian 49, Village Christian 8

Whittier Christian 22, Maranatha 14

ORANGE LEAGUE

Magnolia 41, Santa Ana Valley 27

Savanna 34, Century 10

ORANGE COAST LEAGUE

Santa Ana 63, Saddleback 0

PACIFIC LEAGUE

Crescenta Valley 14, Burbank Burroughs 7

PACIFIC VIEW LEAGUE

Buena 25, Santa Ynez 19

San Marcos 14, Channel Islands 0

Ventura 49, Lompoc Cabrillo 0

PIONEER LEAGUE

Lawndale 47, Torrance 0

North Torrance 18, El Segundo 13

West Torrance 28, South Torrance 7

RIO HONDO LEAGUE

Monrovia 42, Pasadena Poly 13

San Marino 52, Temple City 0

RIVER VALLEY LEAGUE

Hillcrest 59, La Sierra 6

Ramona 44, Arlington 14

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY LEAGUE

Downey 40, Paramount 0

Warren 61, Lynwood 6

SKYLINE LEAGUE

Bloomington 22, Fontana 6

SOUTH VALLEY LEAGUE

Nuview Bridge 48, Santa Rosa Academy 13

SOUTHWESTERN LEAGUE

Chaparral 25,Murrieta Mesa 7

Murrieta Valley 42, Great Oak 7

Vista Murrieta 51, Temecula Valley 0

SUBURBAN LEAGUE

Mayfair 15, La Mirada 10

SUNBELT LEAGUE

Riverside North 40, Paloma Valley 22

SUNSET LEAGUE

Corona del Mar 35, Huntington Beach 8

Newport Harbor 49, Fountain Valley 0

TRINITY LEAGUE

Mater Dei 55, Orange Lutheran 16

St. John Bosco 44, JSerra 7

NONLEAGUE

Alta Loma 51, Rialto 22

Baldwin Park 43, Rowland 27

Camarillo 33, Paraclete 0

Chino 42, Walnut 10

Claremont 31, Covina 18

Dana Hills 56, Northwood 30

Don Lugo 21, South Hills 20

Elsinore 28, Hemet 7

Garden Grove 49, Glenn 0

Grand Terrace 30, Carter 7

Hueneme 39, Glendale 16

Irvine 35, Woodbridge 7

Laguna Hills 14, Beckman 13

Long Beach Poly 41, Aquinas 14

Montclair 35, Pioneer 0

Nogales 30, Azusa 6

Ocean View 36, Temecula Prep 16

Portola 49, Irvine University 0

San Juan Hills 66, Capistrano Valley 13

Segerstrom 35, Cerritos 6

Sierra Canyon 35, Westlake 0

St. Margaret’s 60, Castaic 20

Summit 14, Jurupa Hills 6

Trabuco Hills 35, Tesoro 31

Viewpoint 38, Bishop Montgomery 21

Villa Park 43, Esperanza 12

Westminster 36, Artesia 13

Yorba Linda 49, Canyon 20

Maywood CES 50, Hoover 21

Mission Viejo 38, La Mesa Helix 21

San Diego Mira Mesa 20, Moorpark 12

San Pedro 48, Lakewood 20

St. Francis 34, El Cajon Granite Hills 25

L.A. CITY

COLISEUM LEAGUE

Crenshaw 39, Fremont 6

Dorsey 55, View Park 0

Hawkins 42, Locke 0

EAST VALLEY LEAGUE

Grant 43, Monroe 8

North Hollywood 34, Chavez 12

Verdugo Hills 35, Sun Valley Poly 0

EASTERN LEAGUE

Huntington Park 30, Garfield 29

South East 42, Bell 7

South Gate 55, Legacy 19

EXPOSITION LEAGUE

Jefferson 26, Angelou 22

MARINE LEAGUE

Gardena 12, Narbonne 6

Banning 56, Carson 24

METRO LEAGUE

Dymally 44, New Designs Watts 0

NORTHERN LEAGUE

Franklin 28, Eagle Rock 21

Lincoln 57, L.A. Wilson 7

Torres 32, L.A. Marshall 0

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

Roybal 48, West Adams 0

VALLEY MISSION LEAGUE

Canoga Park 43, Sylmar 0

Reseda 40, Panorama 10

San Fernando 42, Van Nuys 6

WEST VALLEY LEAGUE

Birmingham 63, Taft 0

El Camino Real 24, Cleveland 14

Granada Hills 36, Chatsworth 19

WESTERN LEAGUE

L.A. Hamilton 14, Westchester 8

Palisades 35, L.A. University 0

NONLEAGUE

Belmont 22, Hollywood 18

Santee 48, Bernstein 8

 

8 MAN

CIF-SS

MT. PINOS LEAGUE

Thacher 44, Malibu 0

NONLEAGUE

Chadwick 36, Rolling Hills Prep 17

Trona 52, Noli Indian 0

L.A. CITY

VALLEY LEAGUE

North Valley Military Institute 40, Fulton 12

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Whicker: Dodgers’ beefed-up bullpen helps send them to NLDS

LOS ANGELES — Chris Taylor’s home run landed hard. Hard enough to spring the joyful playoff noise from Dodger Stadium for the first time since Game 1 of the 2019 National League Division Series.

Hard enough to justify Max Scherzer’s prediction that it would turn out exactly that way, that Cody Bellinger would draw a walk in the ninth inning and Taylor would bury Alex Reyes’ slider into the left field bleachers.

“I thought (Albert) Pujols would actually hit the home run,” third baseman Justin Turner said later, “and he almost did.”

The point is that key people in the Dodgers’ dugout knew it would end in the ninth and, for that matter, how it would end.

Taylor’s two-run shot finally subdued the Cardinals, 3-1, in one of the most involving games of any kind that the Dodgers have played in the Guggenheim era.

“I think we made them a little nervous,” said Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals’ starting pitcher. “But they were relentless. They were who they are.”

However, there was a calling card that landed even harder, and it should have resounded throughout the Bay Area, as the Dodgers and Giants prepare for a Golden best-of-five series that begins Friday night in San Francisco.

The real message of this victory is that the Dodgers are playing with a couple of full decks in their bullpen these days, and those who assume they can still hang around until the end and watch the Dodgers dissolve might be sadly mistaken.

This game was not supposed to be a job from the relievers, not with Max Scherzer performing. But Scherzer was all over the place in his 4-1/3 innings, throwing 94 pitches and watching Manager Dave Roberts come out with the hook.

Roberts extended his right hand and quickly realized the ball was not going to be placed in it. He instead shook hands with his right-hander and then plucked the ball out of Scherzer’s glove.

It went to a better place.

Joe Kelly got two outs in the fifth and stranded Paul Goldschmidt at third base. Brusdar Graterol faced four hitters and was back in the dugout in five pitches, getting three grounders and holding his stuff at 100 mph.

Blake Treinen, unaccustomed to getting five outs, did so. It was laborious, since he had to pop up Nolan Arenado with Tyler O’Neill on second. Corey Knebel, who was once a nuclear closer in Milwaukee, struck out Harrison Bader with two out in the eighth.

It all led up to Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side in the ninth. Tommy Edman, who played a fabulous game at both ends for the Cardinals, got his third hit and stole a base in the ninth, but Jansen fanned Goldschmidt and then cranked a high 94 mph fastball that O’Neill waved at. You could hear it pop Will Smith’s glove in Eagle Rock.

“In terms of having a lot of neutral guys, then, yeah, it’s probably as good as we’ve had,” Roberts said, referring to relievers who don’t mind which side of the plate the hitter occupies.

“They’ve been our backbone all year,” Justin Turner said. “I thought Max did a great job battling tonight, and then the guys came in and did what they always do.”

Roberts did some roster shuffling because this was a win-or-stay-home situation. He left David Price off the roster and he thought he might have to use Julio Urias. Instead, Urias was a cheerleader and can now work Game 2 in San Francisco without a problem on Saturday night. Walker Buehler is the Game 1 starter Friday night, and Scherzer can come back for Game 3 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

It’s basically what they wanted.

The bullpen has always been the foreboding theme for the Dodgers, with appropriate “Twilight Zone” music in the background whenever the innings begin to dwindle. Only two years ago Clayton Kershaw was involved in the bullpen mix. In 2017 Brandan Morrow was worked into exhaustion. In 2018, a wrenching seven-game NLCS with Milwaukee wore down the relievers, and even though they rallied to extend Game 3 of the World Series to 18 innings, there wasn’t much left, before or after.

On Wednesday the Dodgers were able to outlast the Cardinals’ distinguished bullpen without having to use either Alex Vesia or Phil Bickford. They all await another roster alteration before Game 1 at Oracle Park.

“I really thought the winner of this game would go on to win the World Series,” Wainwright said. “I think we got to see that we could compete with a great team in this atmosphere.”

But it takes years of bonding, through champagne and through silence, to develop the keen antennae for winning that the Dodgers have.

Taylor was told that Scherzer had predicted this Hollywood ending perfectly.

“Good call,” he said, smiling. But not a hard one.

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Dodgers hit 4 home runs in 8th inning to beat Padres

LOS ANGELES ― The Dodgers saved their best for last Wednesday night.

With four games left in the regular season, they’ll have to make it a recurring theme.

Trailing the San Diego Padres by three runs with six outs to go, the Dodgers hit four home runs in the eighth inning to complete a wild, come-from-behind 11-9 victory.

Home runs by Max Muncy, AJ Pollock, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager pushed five runs across the plate, allowing the Dodgers to erase a 9-6 deficit. Seager’s two-run blast off right-hander Nabil Crismatt was the final dagger.

“Just trying to get the run in,” Seager said. “That was the only thought.”

The win allowed the Dodgers (102-56) to keep pace with the first-place San Francisco Giants (104-54) in the National League West standings.

The Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0, earlier Thursday night. They lead the Dodgers by two games with four to play themselves, and their magic number to clinch the division title is down to three. The NL West runner-up will host the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild-card game on Oct. 6.

Pollock also homered in the first inning to give the Dodgers an early 4-0 lead. Mookie Betts began the Dodgers’ comeback from a 9-5 deficit with a solo home run in the seventh.

Seager went 3 for 5 with three RBIs. Pollock and Muncy each had two of the Dodgers’ 12 hits. Trea Turner extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single in the first inning.

Justin Turner came off the bench to hit a double in the eighth inning ahead of Seager’s game-winning blast. Turner’s 357-foot fly ball clanged off the left-field wall, falling a few feet shy of a five-homer inning.

David Price (5-2) was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen tossed a perfect ninth to convert his 37th save. The Dodgers have won eight consecutive games against the Padres (78-80).

This one will be remembered for a homer-happy inning unlike any other.

“That was a crazy inning,” Bellinger said, “maybe the craziest I’ve been a part of.”

After blowing leads of 4-0 and 5-1 early, the Dodgers saw the Padres rough up starter Max Scherzer for six runs (five earned) in 5⅓ innings. In the seventh inning, San Diego scored three more runs against Brusdar Graterol to take a 9-5 lead.

The same Padres team that committed two errors in the field just one day earlier turned the tables against Scherzer. The right-hander threw 97 pitches and induced only nine swing-and-misses.

For Scherzer, his last two starts amount to a rare lapse of dominance. He’s allowed five earned runs in back-to-back outings. He began the day with a 2.28 ERA, best in the National League, but now trails Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes, 2.46 to 2.29.

“He just didn’t have good command,” Manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer. “At times the curveball was good. The cutter and changeup just weren’t commanded. He’s picked us up many times over. We picked him up.”

In what might have been his final start of the regular season, Scherzer also went 0 for 2 at the plate. He has failed to reach base in any of his 61 plate appearances this season, which would break the previous record held by Wei-Yin Chen.

On a night when hard contact was easy to come by for the Padres, the Dodgers’ defense was porous. San Diego tied the score at 5-5 in the fourth inning when Seager allowed a routine ground ball to glance off his glove, turning the potential third out into an unearned run. Chris Taylor flubbed an easy ground ball earlier in the same inning.

The Dodgers’ most costly error was officially recorded as a triple off the bat of Wil Myers in the sixth inning. It came at the expense of Gavin Lux.

Lux, making his sixth career start in center field, took his eye off Myers’ deep fly ball at the last second. He dropped the ball then crashed violently into the wall.

Lux sustained a neck stinger, Roberts said, and will be re-evaluated Thursday morning. He was replaced by Bellinger, whose defense in center field has been steady.

Bellinger’s bat is another story. He began the day hitting .158, the lowest batting average of any hitter with at least 300 plate appearances this season. He ended the day by treating the announced home crowd of 45,366 to a game-tying home run.

“He’s in a good place mentally, a good place physically,” Roberts said of Bellinger. “He was ready when called upon. His teammates were really excited for him.”

The teams will play once more Thursday as the Dodgers attempt to catch the Giants. A wild card berth would end their streak of division titles at eight.

Seager Smash for the lead!

The @Dodgers hit 4 homers in the 8th!!!! pic.twitter.com/wqHOFHSSFj

— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2021

A Belli 💣 ties the game in LA! pic.twitter.com/Flthm4G83S

— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2021

Muncy starts the inning off with a bang ⚡ pic.twitter.com/s2nJzJhlzt

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 30, 2021

“Its special, that team in there has got a lot of fight in them.” @coreyseager_5 on the #Dodgers electric 5-run eighth inning. pic.twitter.com/5vQrJNbI5b

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 30, 2021

Win 102.

The reigning champs are ready for October. pic.twitter.com/9aTIgQQzMV

— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2021

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High school football: All of the scores from Friday’s Week 5 games


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All of the scores from the CIF Southern Section and L.A. City high school football games on Friday.

CIF SOUTHERN SECTION

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

Cathedral City 28, Indio 21

Coachella Valley 48, Banning 6

Yucca Valley 28, Desert Hot Springs 0

GOLDEN LEAGUE

Highland 41, Eastside 0

Lancaster 52, Littlerock 6

Palmdale 34, Antelope Valley 0

Quartz Hill 32, Knight 18

MIRAMONTE LEAGUE

Bassett 34, Garey 27

Ganesha 49, La Puente 42

MOORE LEAGUE

Lakewood 23, Long Beach Jordan 19

Long Beach Poly 42, Millikan 28

Long Beach Wilson 54, Long Beach Cabrillo 0

SOUTH VALLEY LEAGUE

California Military 21, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac 7

NONLEAGUE

Servite 42, La Mesa Helix 7

Mater Dei 58, La Mirada 7

Mission Viejo 55, Leuzinger 14

San Clemente 21, Murrieta Valley 20

JSerra 44, Newport Harbor 0

El Dorado 24, Sonora 6

Capistrano Valley 38, Cypress 28

El Toro 28, Tesoro 27

El Modena 35, Canyon 0

Dana Hills 43, University 0

Portola 28, Northwood 24

St. Anthony 43, Marina 27

Trabuco Hills 38, Segerstrom 14

Esperanza 21, Santa Fe 17

Garden Grove 50, Los Amigos 0

Pacifica 42, Brea Olinda 39

Irvine 36, Beckman 0

Capistrano Valley Christian 35, Bosco Tech 8

Aliso Niguel 44, Fountain Valley 15

Anaheim 39, Santiago 28

Kennedy 48, Costa Mesa 13

La Sierra 22, Saddleback 14

Laguna Beach 42, Calvary Chapel/SA 7

Laguna Hills 20, Woodbridge 17

Agoura 25, Calabasas 6

Alemany 28, Lawndale 0

Alta Loma 35, Los Osos 31

Anza Hamilton 40, Whittier Christian 2

Aquinas 53, Notre Dame/Riverside 0

Desert Christian/BD 49, Maranatha 14

Beverly Hills 28, Firebaugh 14

Bishop Amat 53, Damien 28

Baldwin Park 57, South El Monte 7

Burroughs/Burbank 21, Harvard-Westlake 20

Cajon 28, Rancho Cucamonga 27

California 54, Don Lugo 0

Campbell Hall 56, Heritage Christian 22

Canyon Springs 16, Arlington 6

Chino Hills 41, Chino 0

Centennial 63, Citrus Valley 20

Dos Pueblos 17, San Marcos 7

Downey 25, Hart 14

Eastvale Roosevelt 37, Chaparral 14

El Rancho 34, Norwalk 7

El Segundo 28, Mary Star 27

Glendora 35, Diamond Ranch 0

Grand Terrace 36, Miller 29

Granite Hills 26, Hesperia 12

Hawthorne 48, Glenn 34

Hueneme 38, Oak Park 28

Inglewood 44, Palos Verdes 7

Jurupa Hills 47, Colony 12

La Quinta 50, Bloomington 8

La Serna 36, Culver City 15

Loyola 34, Mira Costa 31

Mayfair 40, Northview 28

Monrovia 36, San Dimas 17

Moreno Valley 28, Chaffey 12

Muir 6, Cathedral 2

Norte Vista 21, Redlands 0

North Torrance 42, Nordhoff 6

Ontario 16, Wilson/HH 14

Orange Vista 39, Vista del Lago 21

Paraclete 42, Castaic 7

Ramona 42, Corona 35

Redondo 20, West Torrance 7

Rio Mesa 23, Camarillo 21

Riverside Prep 21, Arrowhead Christian 14

Rowland 24, Nogales 21

Salesian 53, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 13

San Gabriel 35, Temple City 14

San Gorgonio 34, Perris 22

Santa Paula 47, Rancho Christian 30

Serrano 42, Victor Valley 6

Sierra Canyon 35, Norco 21

Silverado 27, King 21

South Torrance 52, Santa Monica 20

St. Bonaventure 65, Crespi 13

St. Francis 45, Los Altos 20

St. Monica 24, Pomona 6

Sultana 7, Riverside Poly 0

Summit 45, Murrieta Mesa 7

Thousand Oaks 20, Newbury Park 19

Torrance 35, Bishop Montgomery 13

Trinity Classical Academy 50, Alhambra 33

Valencia 15, Westlake 13

Viewpoint 40, El Monte 0

Walnut 13, Montclair 6

West Valley 16, Indian Springs 8

La Quinta 45, Century 16

Bakersfield Stockdale 10, Moorpark 7

Blythe Palo Verde Valley 34, Barstow 16

Fillmore 56, Santa Maria 21

Morningside 28, L.A. 22

Oaks Christian 44, Birmingham 0

Royal 34, Atascadero 6

San Luis Obispo Mission Prep 51, Carpinteria 0

San Pedro 21, Heritage 16

Santa Maria St. Joseph 28, St. Margaret’s 27

St. Paul 28, Santa Maria Righetti 21

St. Pius X-St. Matthias 63, Gardena 0

L.A. CITY

EAST VALLEY LEAGUE

Arleta 41, Monroe 0

Grant 19, Chavez 12

North Hollywood 52, Sun Valley Poly 13

EASTERN LEAGUE

Garfield 55, South East 7

L.A. Roosevelt 38, Huntington Park 13

South Gate 36, Bell 0

VALLEY MISSION LEAGUE

Canoga Park 41, San Fernando 0

Panorama 21, Sylmar 0

Reseda 21, Granada Hills Kennedy 13

NONLEAGUE

Bernstein 22. Angelou 14

Dorsey 56, Jefferson 0

Dymally 52, Manual Arts 0

Franklin 46, Crenshaw 35

Fremont 40, L.A. Marshall 16

Marquez 40, View Park 13

Maywood CES 22, Torres 6

Mendez 54, Roybal 2

New Designs Watts 62, Locke 6

Santee 48, Hollywood 0

Taft 35, Contreras 27

Verdugo Hills 34, Van Nuys 8

Washington 42, Rivera 0

Banning 56, El Camino Real 13

8 MAN

CIF-SS

NONLEAGUE

Academy of Careers & Exploration 44, Cornerstone Christian 12

Avalon 47, Villanova Prep 7

Cuyama Valley 60, La Verne Lutheran 42

Faith Baptist 30, Leadership Military 14

Hesperia Christian 48, Lancaster Baptist 7

Santa Maria Valley Christian 64, Laguna Blanca 24

Lone Pine 46, Lancaster Desert Christian 40

Milken 60, Fulton 14

USC Hybrid 32, Malibu 19

L.A. CITY

CITY LEAGUE

Sotomayor 50, Animo Robinson 8

 

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Emmys 2021: ‘The Crown’ takes 7 awards including best drama, while ‘Ted Lasso’ scores 4 including best comedy

“The Crown” conquered the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday with seven wins including outstanding drama and all four acting categories, while “Ted Lasso” finished second with four Emmys including outstanding comedy.

More: See all the 2021 Emmy Awards action

“Thank you, the Television Academy; thank you, Netflix; thank you, Sony,” said creator Peter Morgan, who appeared virtually with most of “The Crown” cast and creators in England where it was just after 4 a.m. Monday when the best drama award was announced.

“Thanks … this lot,” said Morgan, who earlier won best writing for a drama, smiling broadly at the cheering crew around him in the room. “We’re going to have a party now. I’m lost for words and I’m very, very grateful.”

Olivia Colman won best actress for “The Crown” for her role as Queen Elizabeth, while Josh O’Connor won best actor for his work as Prince Charles. Earlier, Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson won the supporting actor and actress awards for portrayals of Prince Phillip and Margaret Thatcher.


In this video grab issued Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, by the Television Academy, the team of “Ted Lasso” accept the award for outstanding comedy series during the Primetime Emmy Awards. (Television Academy via AP)

In comedy, Jason Sudeikis won best actor for “Ted Lasso,” which ended up with four Emmys, including best supporting actor and actress for Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham, while Jean Smart was the winner of best actress for a comedy series for her work in “Hacks.”

“Mare of Easttown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” split the top categories for limited series, anthologies or movies. Kate Winslet won best actress in the title role of “Mare of Easttown,” which won three overall, while “The Queen’s Gambit” won two awards including outstanding limited series.

“Anya Taylor-Joy, what can I say, you brought the sexy back to chess,” said William Horberg, producer of “The Queen’s Gambit.” “And you inspired a generation of young  women and girls to realize the patriarchy has no defense against our queens.”

.

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High school football: All of the scores from Friday’s Week 4 games

All of the scores from the CIF Southern Section and L.A. City football games on Friday, Sept. 24.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS

CIF-SS

NONLEAGUE

Servite 44, Sierra Canyon 22

Santa Margarita 42, Los Alamitos 21

Edison 42, San Clemente 0

Villa Park 17, Valencia 7

Mission Viejo 30, Alemany 7

El Toro 35, Garden Grove 7

El Modena 20, Aliso Niguel 15

JSerra 48, Rancho Cucamonga 28

Foothill 34, La Mirada 7

Orange 67, Capistrano Valley 47

Orange Lutheran 42, Notre Dame/So 24

Corona del Mar 45, San Juan Hills 27

Yorba Linda 23, Chino Hills 7

Walnut 21, Ocean View 0

Laguna Beach 48, Crean Lutheran 26

Kennedy 29, Canyon Country Canyon 11

Troy 49, Cerritos 6

Brea Olinda 26, Fullerton 18

Costa Mesa 20, Los Amigos 16

Dana Hills 34, Woodbridge 6

Estancia 36, La Quinta 16

Irvine 57, University 0

Capistrano Valley Christian 46, Desert Christian/BD 14

Santiago 41, Magnolia 35 (2OT)

Trabuco Hills 23, Newport Harbor 13

Sunny Hills 56, Gahr 0

Sonora 10, Esperanza 7

Portola 28, Beckman 7

Rancho Alamitos 37, Godinez 7

Calvary Chapel/SA 46, Santa Ana Valley 7

Segerstrom 29, Thousand Oaks 28

St. Margaret’s 54, Riverside Prep 0

St. John Bosco 49, Smith (Va.) 0

Mira Costa 40, West Torrance 14

Mayfair 24, Valencia 7

Agoura 41, Moorpark 6

Apple Valley 41, Silverado 0

Arroyo 24, Whittier 21

Barstow 20, Burroughs 0

Bishop Amat 47, Leuzinger 19

Bonita 42, Los Osos 7

Brentwood 45, Carpinteria 0

Calabasas 44, Crescenta Valley 6

Campbell Hall 27, La Canada 23

Cantwell-Sacred Heart 51, Verbum Dei 0

Cerritos Valley Christian 35, Ontario Christian 21

Charter Oak 36, South Hills 0

Chino 49, Don Lugo 0

Citrus Valley 35, Orange Vista 0

Colton 34, San Gorgonio 12

Corona 35, Vista del Lago 30

Centennial 52, Long Beach Poly 7

Dos Pueblos 17, Royal 14 (OT)

Eastvale Roosevelt 28, Heritage 7

Eisenhower 49, Kaiser 28

El Monte 30, Sierra Vista 20

El Rancho 29, Covina 0

El Segundo 48, Hawthorne 20

Elsinore 38, Lakeside 6

Etiwanda 42, Colony 13

Fillmore 17, Oak Park 14

Garey 41, Gladstone 7

Glendale 32, South El Monte 20

Great Oak 35, Paloma Valley 6

Hemet 20, Adelanto 18

Hueneme 20, Burroughs 0

Jurupa Hills 48, Grand Terrace 6

Jurupa Valley 48, Perris 18

King 27, Patriot 7

La Serna 49, Valley View 6

Lawndale 16, Cathedral 6

Mary Star 27, Viewpoint 26

Montclair 22, Ontario 0

Nogales 33, Workman 0

Norco 35, Murrieta Valley 34

Nordhoff 15, San Marcos 14

Norte Vista 50, Linfield Christian 7

Norwalk 51, Glenn 7

Oak Hills 77, Citrus Hill 0

Palm Desert 17, Santiago 7

Palm Springs 40, Redlands 0

Paraclete 43, Redondo 20

Pasadena 53, Harvard-Westlake 13

Rancho Mirage 35, Chaffey 8

Ramona 57, Riverside Poly 7

Rialto 48, Pacific 0

Rim of the World 51, Rowland 13

Rio Hondo Prep 55, Temple City 14

Riverside North 34, Los Altos 7

Salesian 66, Pioneer 0

San Bernardino 32, Silver Valley 0

San Dimas 42, Schurr 12

San Jacinto 44, Beaumont 36

Santa Barbara 28, Ventura 21

Santa Ynez 34, Lompoc 30

Saugus 35, Oxnard 12

Simi Valley 42, Golden Valley 14

South Pasadena 45, Alhambra 27

South Torrance 28, Peninsula 21

St. Anthony 43, St. Pius X-St. Matthias 25

St. Francis 42, Muir 6

St. Genevieve 54, Burbank 21

Summit 49, Carter 8

Temecula Valley 35, Redlands East Valley 27

Temescal Canyon 31, Hillcrest 14

Trinity Classical Academy 31, St. Monica 0

Upland 7, Aquinas 6

Victor Valley 35, Sultana 20

West Ranch 49, Crespi 34

Cajon 39, El Cajon Grossmont 7

Camarillo 29, Santa Maria Righetti 6

Contreras 40, Beverly Hills 0

Serra 54, Carson 0

Heritage Christian 19, Chatsworth 7

Hoover 14, Angelou 0

Loyola 42, San Diego Mira Mesa 20

Lynwood 37, Manual Arts 24

Palos Verdes 27, Banning 21

Santa Maria 35, Cabrillo 7

Sylmar 20, Morningside 0

Torrance 48, Gardena 8

Yucaipa 37, San Diego University City 28

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

Coachella Valley 44, Desert Hot Springs 6

Indio 53, Desert Mirage 0

Yucca Valley 15, Banning 6

MOORE LEAGUE

Compton 36, Long Beach Wilson 14

Lakewood 67, Long Beach Cabrillo 0

Millikan 42, Long Beach Jordan 0

 

L.A. CITY

EAST VALLEY LEAGUE

Arleta 13, North Hollywood 0

Chavez 24, Sun Valley Poly 14

Verdugo Hills 24, Monroe 14

EASTERN LEAGUE

Garfield 49, Bell 0

L.A. Roosevelt 48, Legacy 0

VALLEY MISSION LEAGUE

Canoga Park 35, Panorama 14

Granada Hills Kennedy 41, Van Nuys 0

Reseda 49, San Fernando 0

NONLEAGUE

Cleveland 54, Hollywood 0

Crenshaw 42, Taft 7

Dymally 38, Rivera 0

Franklin 64, Narbonne 6

Granada Hills 16, Eagle Rock 13

Lincoln 57, Mendez 8

L.A. Wilson 53, Maywood CES 20

Marquez 40, Torres 6

San Pedro 41, Dorsey 6

View Park 26, L.A. Marshall 0

Westchester 42, Jefferson 6

8 MAN

CIF-SS

Chadwick 43, San Jacinto Valley Academy 14

CSDR 64, Hesperia Christian 22

Avalon 48, University Pathways 0

Chula Vista Victory Christian 42, La Verne Lutheran 10

Malibu 34, East Valley 0

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Pregnant during pandemic: COVID-19 fears fuel increased interest in home births

When Tameka Issartel went into labor shortly after midnight on Feb. 3, she found herself drifting into a trance-like state. She didn’t remember when her husband called their midwife or how she arrived with her assistant at her El Sereno home.

“I had an out-of-body experience,” she said.

As her pain intensified, Issartel spent several hours moving around her house, stepping into a shower, sitting in a bathtub and leaning up against the sofa in her living room, while midwife Racha Tahani Lawler massaged her back and encouraged her through labor. But the baby was still not coming out.

The pain grew so intense, Issartel said, she roared like a tiger.

That’s when the midwife told her husband to call 911.

Issartel kept pushing, changing her birthing positions several times with the assistance of midwives and her husband, who was also trying to take care of the couple’s three daughters patiently waiting nearby to meet the baby.

When Issartel’s son finally arrived around 9 a.m., she noticed that he was not breathing. Her daughters surrounded the baby as Lawler kneeled next to him, pulled off her N-95 mask and performed CPR, as Issartel stared in shock.

“Breathe, baby, breathe,” one of the girls said. “Come on, Tenshin.”


Midwife Racha Tahani Lawler describes Tameka Issartel’s difficult labor where she had to perform CPR on the baby all the way to the hospital after he had trouble taking his first breath during a coronavirus surge. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

FOURTH IN A SERIES: Pregnant during the Pandemic

Previous stories:

Programs, midwives step up to support Black mothers

Black midwives in demand; are there enough to handle influx of clients?

Birth centers grow in popularity, but owners say it’s difficult to qualify for state license

Rising interest in home births 

Home births have been on the rise across the Los Angeles region for the last couple of years, in part because of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

More women have been opting for home birth as hospitals postponed or moved most of their health care online due to the pandemic, barring partners, canceling antenatal classes and often leaving women to deliver and recover alone. And many women chose home delivery because they were worried about being exposed to the virus at hospitals.

Another factor contributing to the rise of home birth, experts say, is the growing awareness of health disparities in maternal and infant mortality faced by Black women, who bear a greater risk of childbirth complications than any other demographic group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s estimated that about 700 women die each year in the United States from pregnancy-related complications, including infections, severe bleeding and high blood pressure. Black, American Indian and Alaska Native women have been disproportionately affected by pregnancy- and birth-related complications, with the CDC reporting they are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than other demographic groups.

Interviews with more than two dozen midwives indicate they have attended double or triple the number of home births since the first days of the pandemic, with many of them unable to meet the demand and even turning clients away.

Lawler said she has been receiving dozens of inquiries each day from families inquiring about home birth. On some days, she visits her clients not to provide any prenatal or postpartum care, but just to hold their babies and listen.

“So many Black people are struggling with feeling whole because of everything that is going on,” she said. “They are piecing themselves together, worrying about the pandemic, worrying about their family, worrying about their housing, worrying about their food and struggling to hold it together.”

Nurse midwife Shadman Habibi, who works at UCLA Health Birth Place in Santa Monica, said at least 25 women of 150 patients who were planning their deliveries there changed their birthing plans in the past few months.

“They stopped coming to us and decided to have a home birth,” Habibi said.

The number of home births in Los Angeles County increased by 5.3% to a total of 631 from 2018 to 2020. During the same period, the numbers in San Bernardino County increased by nearly 25% to 186, according to preliminary data from the California Department of Public Health.

In Riverside County, that number rose by 121% to 310 from 2015 to 2020, according to the Riverside University Health System-Public Health.

In Orange County, the numbers have remained about the same from 2018 to 2020, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Licensed midwife Angelica Miller, who is based in Long Beach, said she has seen an uptick of inquiries about home birth since last year.

“A lot of moms choose home birth outside the pandemic because they can be active participants of their care,” she said. “With the pandemic, it’s a fear of COVID.”

Many of her clients, Miller added, choose a home delivery because they want to have control over their birth experience and make sure their needs are met.

One of her recent clients, MyLin Stokes Kennedy, decided to have an out-of-hospital birth after witnessing her wife, Lindsay, being pregnant with their son Lennox about two years ago. She watched in shock as an obstetrician failed to check on her wife while she was in pain.

Stokes Kennedy made up her mind to deliver her baby at home once she became pregnant with the couple’s third child.

  • Midwife Angelica Miller does a prenatal visit with MyLin Stokes Kennedy and her wife Lindsay at their Fountain Valley home on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Midwife Angelica Miller listens to the heart beat of MyLin Stokes Kennedy’s baby with her wife Lindsay and their child Lennox, 21 months, at their Fountain Valley home on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Midwife Angelica Miller does a prenatal visit with MyLin Stokes Kennedy and her wife Lindsay who plays with their son Lennox, 21 months, at their Fountain Valley home on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Lennox Stokes Kennedy, 21 months, plays with bubbles as his mom Lindsay watches during a midwife visit for his other mom at their Fountain Valley home on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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“I’m just more aware of what’s happening to women like me in the hospital,” said the 34-year old resident of Fountain Valley, who is Black. “I didn’t want to be part of those statistics.”

Stokes Kennedy said she was drawn to home birth and midwifery care because of its focus on avoiding unnecessary interventions. The idea of receiving guidance and support from a midwife made her feel seen and heard. The pandemic was the final straw, she added, convincing her to opt for out-of-hospital delivery.


Lindsay Stokes Kennedy wrote her wife MyLin’s birth affirmations on a mirror where Mylin’s paintings are reflected as seen on Thursday, September 16, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

“With the pandemic, I wouldn’t want to be in the hospital,” she said.

It took her more than two months to find Miller, a Black midwife who attended home births in Orange County.

She envisioned delivering her baby in a birthing tub surrounded by candles, lavender scents and family members.

“I wanted a holistic, beautiful, spiritual journey and it has been like that so far,” Stokes Kennedy said. Miller, she added, encouraged her to ask questions during appointments that sometimes stretched to more than an hour — a type of care she believed she wouldn’t get with obstetricians.


MyLin Stokes Kennedy has her wife Lindsay feel their baby move at their Fountain Valley home on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

But once she went into labor in the late hours on Sept. 3, all her birthing plans went out of the window.

As her labor progressed quickly, her contractions became longer and more intense. She labored in the bathroom for a while before her water bag dropped. About 30 minutes later, with the midwife still on the way, Stokes Kennedy noticed the baby’s head popping out.

“I said: ‘My baby is coming,’ ” she said.

When Lindsay heard her wife’s voice, she ran over from the dining room, where she was filling the birthing tub with water, and encouraged her wife to breathe and keep pushing. Stokes Kennedy’s doula, mother, and 13-year-old son stood by her side.

She pushed and pushed. Then she rested for a minute and pushed again.

Maddox Levi was born before midnight on Sept. 3. He weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces and was 23 inches long. Right after he was born, the family FaceTimed the midwife and stayed on the call until she arrived about 15 minutes later.

Stokes Kennedy said although her mother was nervous witnessing home birth without professional help, no one considered calling 911.

“I was safe at home,” she said. “It was never a terrible pain. … Once his head was out, he was fine. There was never any worry.”

Although Stokes Kennedy didn’t have a chance to experience a water birth or light $200 worth of candles, she said she would do a home birth again. “My wife caught the baby,” she said. “It was very calm, intentional and beautiful.”


MyLin Stokes Kennedy rests at home on Thursday, September 16, 2021 with her son Lennox and Maddox, who her wife Lindsay delivered in their Fountain Valley home days ago. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Maddox Stokes Kennedy, 13 days, sleeps in his cradle on Thursday, September 16, 2021 next to his mom MyLin in his Fountain Valley home where he was born. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

As the pandemic continued battering hospitals, midwives say they occasionally received phone calls from women who couldn’t afford to pay for midwifery care but needed advice preparing for an unassisted birth, also known as free birth.

Some expectant mothers turned to Facebook groups, seeking advice on unassisted birth where women shared pictures of themselves laboring in inflatable pools surrounded by candlelight and family members. They also asked questions on how to talk to neighbors about potential screaming during labor, whether free birth is possible with previous C-sections and if there’s a need to call 911 if labor doesn’t progress after a certain period of time.

Although free birth is not illegal in California, there have been instances in other states in which women who delivered stillborn babies at home have been prosecuted.

Doctors maintain that hospitals remain the safest option for pregnant women even amid the pandemic.

Dr. Amos Grunebaum, an obstetrician and gynecologist and a professor at the Zucker School of Medicine in New York, said out-of-hospital birth puts mothers and babies at risk.

“Complications can happen quickly and unexpectedly, even with people who have low-risk pregnancies,” he said. “People who deliver at home put their babies at an increased risk.”

Grunebaum and a team of researchers examined records from 2016-2018 and discovered that nearly 60% of women who planned a home birth had risk factors that could potentially end up in complications and neonatal mortality, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and covered by Reuters.

“These significantly increased risks of neonatal mortality in home births must be disclosed by all obstetric practitioners to all pregnant women who express an interest in such births,” according to the study.

Grunebaum was among a group of researchers who analyzed National Center for Health Statistics data on 88,000 planned home births across the county and discovered that nearly 4% of births followed prior C-section, about 23% of the mothers were 35 or older, and nearly 5% were 40 or older.

He also found that expectant mothers chose home birth despite risk factors like older age, prior cesarean delivery or obesity — factors which whole disqualified them from home birth in other developed countries.

“You have only one or two babies in your life,” he said. “Why would you risk it?


Obstetrics Service Chief Dr. Mya Zapata says the birth center at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood supports all births from hypnotic to high-risk births. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Dr. Mya Zapata, an obstetrician and gynecologist and the chief of the obstetrics service at Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA, said she would recommend having a baby in the hospital.

“Most patients who get COVID, get it in the community from people they interact with,” she said. “The risk is much higher of getting COVID going to other locations and gatherings. In the hospital, at least the health care workers are vaccinated and everyone is wearing a mask.”ase

No regrets

As the Issartel family was waiting for paramedics to arrive, Lawler continued performing CPR for at least 12 minutes.

During labor, Issartel learned that the baby was large and his shoulder was stuck inside her pelvis, a birth complication known as shoulder dystocia.

When paramedics arrived, they put Lawler on the gurney with the baby as she continued performing CPR.

“I was terrified that I was going break his ribs,” she said.

Issartel, 34, was transported to the hospital in a separate ambulance.

At the hospital, the boy received a cooling treatment, also known as therapeutic hypothermia, used to treat babies who were deprived of oxygen during birth. The treatment lowers the baby’s body temperature to prevent his or her health from deteriorating, by stopping the death of oxygen-deprived cells.

Because of pandemic-related restrictions, Issartel was not allowed to see her son until later in the afternoon. She was allowed to hold him for the first time only after three anxious days.

When doctors returned the boy’s temperature back to normal three days later, Issartel placed him on her chest, watching him latch onto her breast right away, with breathing tubes and oxygen still attached to his body. His MRI images showed no signs of trauma or injury.


Tameka Issartel poses with her husband Yukio Hoshi and their children Kalea, 10, Tenshin, 7 months, Nalani, 5, and Luana, 7, in their El Sereno living room on Thursday, September 9, 2021 where she birthed Tenshin. Midwife Racha Tahani Lawler pulled off her N95 and performed CPR all the way to the hospital after Tenshin struggled to take his first breath. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

“I was very blessed that we didn’t have any issues with nursing,” she said.

Before Tenshin was born, Issartel said she was debating whether to have a home birth. She even considered unassisted birth, but eventually decided to hire a midwife.

“I didn’t want to go to the hospital in the middle of the pandemic,” Issartel said.

Home birth allowed her and her son to avoid lengthy and painful recovery, which Issartel said took more than two months after her previous pregnancy.

“I do believe this is really meant to be,” she said. “If I was in the hospital, the healing journey for him and I would be worse. I have no regrets.”


Tameka Issartel and her daughter, Nalani, 5, laugh with Tenshin, 7 months, in their El Sereno living room on Thursday, September 9, 2021 where Issartel birthed Tenshin. Midwife Racha Tahani Lawler pulled off her N95 and performed CPR all the way to the hospital after Tenshin struggled to take his first breath. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Olga Grigoryants’ reporting on pregnancy during the pandemic was undertaken as a project for the USC Center for Health Journalism’s 2021 California Fellowship.

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Dodgers win as Clayton Kershaw makes 1st start since July 3

LOS ANGELES — It’s just one three-time Cy Young Award-winning future Hall of Famer after another for the Dodgers now.

In his first start since July 3, Clayton Kershaw rejoined the Dodgers’ starting rotation by allowing just one run and pitching into the fifth inning of an eventual 5-1 Dodgers victory Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw gave up four hits and a walk in his 4-1/3 innings, striking out five and throwing 50 pitches (short of the targeted total of 60 in his first start in two months – but he was only expected to pitch four innings).

“There’s not a lot of better feelings in the world than getting to pitch here and getting a win,” he said after his 193rd career start at Dodger Stadium. “It’s a special thing. I missed it. It was good to be back. We got a win today and everything worked out.”

A three-inning rehab start last week in Triple-A left Kershaw predictably dissatisfied – he said he told catcher Austin Barnes that he spent “the past two months trying to get healthy. Now I’ve got four or five days to learn how to pitch again.”

“There’s just no way to simulate a big-league game. There’s really not,” he said Monday. “You can do all the bullpens, all the rehabs, all the working out you want. But for whatever reason, pitching in a big-league game is just different and the only way to do it and to get better at it is to do it, to go out and compete. So I’m glad I got this first one behind me.”

He appears to have been a quick study. The first inning didn’t go particularly well. Three of the first five Diamondbacks hitters reached base on a double, a walk and an RBI single. But Kershaw struck out Henry Ramos to end the inning.

Starting with Ramos, Kershaw retired 11 of the final 13 batters he was allowed to face. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Kershaw after he had gone through the Diamondbacks’ lineup twice, retiring one batter in the fifth inning.

“I think there’s still some things I need to work on pitching-wise,” Kershaw said. “Today, it was good to get back out there. But at the same time, we’re in a race so there’s not a lot of time to work the kinks out. For me, I was throwing a lot more curveballs today than I probably had in the past, but that just seemed to be what was working. Gotta get that slider working. Fastball too was okay at times. But there’s definitely some things I need to work on.”

The familiar sight of Kershaw on the mound at Dodger Stadium brought “a lot of positive energy” to the team, Roberts said.

“It was awesome. So good to see him back out there, taking the ball,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “We talked before the game, how hard it is for him not to be able to go out there and compete every fifth day. We’re all excited to see him back out there.

“Kersh is our guy. He’s our leader. When he takes the ball, we know we’ve got a really good chance to win a ballgame. That was special.”

The Dodgers topped the Diamondbacks’ first-inning run with three of their own against Zac Gallen.

Four of the first five Dodgers batters reached base, starting with a double by Mookie Betts (who is now 7 for 16 with a double, two home runs, six RBIs and six runs scored since moving back into the leadoff spot last week).

Corey Seager drove in the first run with an RBI single then scored from first base on Justin Turner’s two-run double into the left field corner.

Gallen got out of that and stranded two runners in the second. The Diamondbacks right-hander threw 52 pitches to get through those two innings and it didn’t look like he would be around for long.

But the Dodgers couldn’t land a knockout blow and Gallen pitched into the sixth inning.

The Dodgers nearly got to him again in the fourth inning when Gavin Lux and Barnes led off with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Kershaw, Betts sent a fly ball into shallow right field. Lux tagged and headed home, arriving in sync with the throw from right fielder Jake McCarthy.

Originally called safe, Lux was ruled out after a lengthy replay review (approximately 2½ minutes) overturned the call.

The Dodgers finally scored again in the sixth inning, driving Gallen from the game. Barnes did the damage with an RBI double.

Justin Turner made his a three-RBI night with a solo home run in the seventh inning. After going 84 plate appearances between home runs, Turner now has four in his past 24 at-bats.

“Just putting in the work,” said Turner, whose only hits were home runs in that time. “I feel like I kind of got my timing back. I feel like I was late there for awhile.”

The first-place San Francisco Giants won their eighth consecutive game Monday, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2016 and keeping the Dodgers 2½ games back in the NL West with 17 to play in the regular season.

“I’m thankful,” Kershaw said of getting back in action. “I didn’t really know what it was going to look like at the end of this season. So for me to be a part of it is huge. I will never take that for granted ever – to be in a playoff race, to be a part of it. And it’s a good one right now. The Giants aren’t losing. They’re not making it easy for us. It’s going to be fun.”

“There’s not a lot of better feelings in the world than getting to pitch here and getting a win. It’s a special thing. I missed it. It was good to be back.” @ClaytonKersh22 on his first outing back from the IL. pic.twitter.com/VLY5ohZQ3O

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 14, 2021

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