HOT: CAPITOL GAINS
The Nats (89--57) are set to bring playoff baseball back to D.C. for the first time since 1933. How've they done it? Stellar pitching (MLB-leading 3.31 ERA for starters) and big bats: 32 HRs in September lead the league, and Jayson Werth's post--All Star OBP of .407 is sixth in the NL.
NOT: RAZORS BURNT
Preseason No. 10 Arkansas (1--2) suffered its first shutout in Fayetteville since 1966 when it was trucked 52--0 by 'Bama on Saturday, a week after falling to Louisiana-Monroe. Said injured QB Tyler Wilson after the Tide game, "Do I feel that we, at times, gave up out there? Yeah. Absolutely."
HOT: EAST FEAST
South Korea's Jiyai Shin won her second British Open on Sunday, this one by a record nine strokes. It was the 24-year-old's second LPGA title in a week. Shin's win capped an Asian sweep of the 2012 majors. Far Eastern players, in fact, have won nine of the last 12 women's majors.
NOT: REAL PROBLEMS
Real Madrid slipped eight points behind Barcelona with a 1--0 loss to Sevilla on Saturday, surrendering the lone goal 68 seconds into the match. Real barely threatened, and that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, who was denied twice. Said coach José Mourinho, "At this moment I have no team."
HOT: IN THE CARDS
Arizona's 2--0 after two thrillers, the latest a 20--18 win over the Pats. Cards fans can thank Patrick Peterson (1 INT, three tackles) and the D—its 4.3 ypp is tops in the NFC. Meanwhile in St. Louis, the Redbirds hold the second wild-card spot. Perfect timing for former Cy Young Chris Carpenter's return.
CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES (PETERSON)
MARCELO DEL POZO/REUTERS (RONALDO)
CARL RECINE/ACTION IMAGES/ZUMAPRESS.COM (SHIN)
MARK ALMOND/BIRMINGHAM NEWS/LANDOV (WILSON)
SIMON BRUTY (WERTH)