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Ever since Gomez made some adjustments to his delivery in the minors, he’s been throwing smoke following his return to the bigs. Extra life on his fastball has helped him win four straight starts while posting a 1.88 ERA over that stretch. He gave up just two runs over 6 2/3 innings in a 10-4 win over Minnesota last weekend.
Madison Baumgarner, San Francisco Giants (12-12, 3.21 ERA)
Bumgarner allowed a single unearned run over seven innings to earn his fifth straight win last weekend, a 9-1 decision over the Colorado Rockies. His ERA is just 1.04 over those five games and he now has his season WHIP at 1.22.
"This kid is just getting better and better," manager Bruce Bochy told reporters. "He's been on a good roll, really hitting his spots with all his pitches. He's got to feel good about how it's gone for him, especially with the rough start that he had."
Anthony Swarzak, Minnesota Twins (3-7, 4.52 ERA)
Swarzak’s recent numbers are downright nasty: 0-4 in his last five starts with an 8.49 ERA. His last outing was even worse, when he gave up seven runs over 1 2/3 innings in a loss to Cleveland.
"Lack of command, didn't execute," Swarzak told reporters after that loss. "Had a game plan out there and got away from my game plan a little bit. When you don't have a game plan and you're not executing, you're not going to get many outs. So I ended up getting beat around today."
Henry Sosa, Houston Astros (2-5, 4.74 ERA)
Sosa has lost three in a row, but was solid in two of those outings. While he gave up five runs in just 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the Nats on Sept. 11, he held his opposition to a pair of runs over six innings in his other two starts this month, including a tough 2-1 loss to the Cubs last weekend.
NCAAF: The over is 3-0 in Cincinnati’s first three games of the season and is 7-3 in the club’s last 10 home games.
MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers are 20-7 in their last 27 games.
MLB: Washington has won eight of its last 10.
WNBA: Atlanta has covered in 11 of its last 13 meetings with Indianapolis.
NCAAF: Cincinnati is 6-14 against the spread in its last 20 overall.
MLB: Toronto is 5-12 in its last 17 games as an underdog.
MLB: Tampa Bay is just 3-7 in its last 10 meetings with the Yankees.
WNBA: The over is 2-8 in Phoenix’s last 10 games overall.
1 – The New York Yankees have failed to make the playoffs just once over the last 17 years following Wednesday afternoon’s 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yanks clinched the division title later in the evening when they beat Tampa Bay again and Boston suffered another disappointing loss.
Injury that shouldn’t be overlooked
Hunter Pence, Philadelphia Phillies – Pence sat out Wednesday’s action after an MRI of his left knee showed a patella tendon strain. Word has it he won’t suit up again until the weekend. So far he’s hitting .323 with nine homers and 28 RBIs since coming over from the Astros.
Game of the day
North Carolina Wolfpack at Cincinnati Bearcats (-7.5, 60.5)
"If you look at the production, usually guys get paid off their production. You look at their production and what level that's on and you look at the guys who produce similar and what they get paid and it's not that hard. Obviously, somebody doesn't believe I'm an elite running back." – Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. The Bears are set as set as 3.5-point underdogs at home to Green Bay. Forte has 324 all-purpose yards through two games this season.
Notes and tips
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is accusing his UFC 135 opponent Jon Jones of planting spies within his training team. “You know what I'm saying the kid is guilty,” Rampage said on Dan LeBatard Show Wednesday. “He knows he has spies in my camp. I think we have narrowed it down to who it is. We're just focusing on this upcoming fight and stuff like that. If he didn't put the spies there himself then his manager did and he knew about it. He feels guilty.” Jones is set as a -600 favorite in Saturday’s fight.
The WNBA Conference finals begin Thursday with Minnesota set as 7-point favorite at home to Phoenix, while Atlanta visits Indiana as a 2.5-point underdog. Phoenix’s offense fell from 89 points per game to 76.7 points per game in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Atlanta is really playing up the underdog card heading into the series. “The pressure's not really on us, the pressure's on them because everybody's expecting them to beat us,” Fever Tamika Catchings told reporters. “It's win or go home time. We really want to play for a championship and really feel like we have a championship caliber team.”
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be adding some extra protection for his damaged ribs for Monday night's game against the Washington Redskins. ESPN reported that Romo will be fitted with a special vest to help cushion his cracked ribs from any hard hits. Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said Romo will need the extra padding because he plans on targeting the injured area at every opportunity. “I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever’s hurt,” Hall said. “If it’s Romo’s ribs? I’m going to be asking for some corner blitzes. ... That’s part of the game. If you know something’s wrong with an opponent, you want to target in on it.” Oddsmakers have yet to post a line for the game.