James Taylor is smooth. No debate here "Fire and Rain" fans. But the 2000 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee teetered on musical infamy when he started singing the lyrics to "America the Beautiful" in lieu of the National Anthem before Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway. With his six-string in hand, JT stepped up to the mic Thursday night and began, "O beautiful..." before realizing that our cherished anthem begins differently. As only a true professional could, he transitioned fairly seamlessly into "Oh say can you see" in one of the better saves Boston fans have witnessed since Koji Uehara took the mound with only one out in the 8th inning of Game 5 in the ALCS. Perhaps Taylor's gaffe was a harbinger for things to come for the Red Sox on Thursday, as Boston's shaky fielding in the 7th gave St. Louis two critical runs in their 4-2 win.
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You hear the expression last-second win being thrown around pretty often, even though it's hardly ever literally the case. Linguistics snobs will also tell you that "literally" is incorrectly used quite often itself these days. But make no mistake about it, Thursday's tilt between the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks literally ended with a last-second win when David Krejci scored with 0.8 seconds left. The last-second tally in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and gave the B's a 2-1 win.
Finally, in football, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are over .500 for the first time since 2008 after beating the Tampa Buccaneers on Thursday night. Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Panthers cruised to a 31-13 victory, dropping Tampa Bay to 0-7.