MLB: OCT 12 NLDS Padres at Dodgers
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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


To win in the postseason, you need your stars to play like stars and your non-stars to... also play like stars in key moments. The Padres roster did that in a 5-3 Game 2 win over the Dodgers that featured a little bit of everything.

  • Manny Machado hit a solo home run in the first inning and an RBI double in the third inning to get the Padres' offense going.
  • Tied 3-3 in the sixth, Jurickson Profar hit the go-ahead single for San Diego. Jake Cronenworth added a solo home run in the eighth inning.
  • Josh Hader converted a four-out save.
  • It's the Padres' first NLDS win since 2006.

For all of San Diego's big names, it was Robert Suarez who arguably came up biggest. Inserted in the sixth inning with runners on the corners and no outs, he struck out Justin Turner and got Gavin Lux to ground into a double play. In the seventh inning, Suarez loaded the bases with two outs before getting Will Smith to fly out. Suarez -- a 31-year-old rookie who spent time with the team's rookie-level and Triple-A affiliates this year -- "[possibly] recorded the six biggest outs of the Padres' season," writes MLB expert Matt Snyder.

Oh, and the Padres overcame a rally goose. Yes, you read that right, a rally goose:

San Diego Padres v. Los Angeles Dodgers
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Both NLDS Game 3s are tomorrow.


Kyle Wright led the league with 21 wins this regular season and, while wins are far from a perfect stat, on Wednesday he showed his success was no accident. Wright tossed six scoreless innings, and the Braves evened up their NLDS series with the Phillies 1-1 with a 3-0 win.

  • Wright became just the second Braves starter to go at least six innings while allowing two or fewer hits, one or fewer walks and zero earned runs in the postseason. The other? Greg Maddux in 1995.
  • Wright and Zack Wheeler were locked in a pitchers duel with things scoreless entering the bottom of the sixth. Then Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Travis d'Arnaud each came through with RBI singles.
  • A.J. Minter, Raisel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen each threw a scoreless inning to finish things off.

After Max Fried's poor Game 1 start, the Braves needed Wright to come through, and he did in a big way, writes baseball guru R.J. Anderson.

  • Anderson: "Of his 83 pitches, 52 went for strikes. In suffocating the Phillies, Wright leaned heavily on his fastball and curve, and he also mixed in his sinker. That was essential, since Wright's four-seamer in Game 2 was down about a full mph relative to his regular-season average fastball velocity. In terms of Game Score... Wright put up a 73. Just twice during the regular season did he exceed that figure, and those two starts came against the Pirates and Marlins – two lineups that can't compare to Philly's."

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

Thursday Night Football preview: Commanders-Bears should be low-scoring affair 🏈

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Week 5 of the NFL season gets underway tonight with the Commanders visiting the Bears. Washington is on a four-game losing streak and coming off a heartbreaker against the Titans while Chicago has lost two straight, both by a single possession.

To be blunt, don't expect the scoreboard to light up often. Both teams rank in the bottom 10 of the league in points per game, interception rate and sack rate allowed. Having said that, fantasy expert Jamey Eisenberg does have one of these quarterbacks as a "Start 'Em" candidate.

Washington has won seven of the last eight in this series, though Chicago won the last meeting, in 2019. So who does our NFL betting expert Tyler Sullivan like? Here's his pick:

  • Sullivan: "Bears PK. Neither one of these teams will be mistaken for a Super Bowl contender, but it does feel like Chicago is playing better ball right now. They finally saw some success in the passing game last week with Justin Fields and are facing a Washington defense that ranks 27th in the NFL in points per game. While Chicago's offense may not have the most firepower, I trust them more than what the Commanders are rolling out on that side of the ball."

For a full preview of this one, click here.

Is Deion Sanders ready to jump to a Power Five job? 👀

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Remember back in 2020 when Jackson State hired Deion Sanders, whose only coaching experience was at the high school level? There were plenty of critics, and their reasons for doubting weren't unfounded.

Sanders has answered the doubt resoundingly. Jackson State is 20-5 in his tenure. That includes a perfect 5-0 this season with an average winning margin of nearly 31 points (though it hasn't been without some controversy). Now the bigger-picture question is how long Sanders might be at Jackson State, and whether he's ready for a Power Five job.

According to our college football insider Dennis Dodd, Sanders is expected to receive a lot of interest this hiring cycle, and Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek told Dennis he thinks it's "inevitable" that Prime Time will get a Power Five opportunity. Here's Dennis' take:

  • Dodd: "ADs are increasingly impatient for on-field success, perhaps as a result of being increasingly pliable to delivering large buyouts. Access to name, image and likeness funds must become a priority with all coaches these days. The question: When does hiring Sanders become a priority? ... As a coach, his legend has grown quickly. He landed the FCS's top recruiting class before he'd coached a game at Jackson State. Now that he has coached 25 of them, do we have enough data for a proper evaluation of Coach Prime?"

UEFA Champions League recap: Barcelona in trouble ⚽

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We're through Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League, and Barcelona's hopes of advancing are hanging on by a thread. The Catalan giants drew Inter Milan 3-3 thanks to Robert Lewandowski's late heroics, but with Bayern Munich leading Group C with 12 points and Inter second with seven, Barca (four points) no longer control their own destiny with two group stage games left, soccer expert Roger Gonzalez explains.

  • Gonzalez: "If Barca and Inter finish level on points, Inter advance due to the head-to-head tiebreaker, thanks to having beaten and drawn Barca. If Inter Milan so much as draw Viktoria Plzen in Italy on Matchday 5, Barca will be forced to win out, including having to defeat Bayern Munich. The Italian side are expected to win that match with little trouble, and if they do Barcelona will be eliminated before they kick another ball in the Champions League."

Here were the other results, with our expert analysis here:

  • Napoli 4, Ajax 2 
  • Atletico Madrid 0, Club Brugge 0 
  • Bayer Leverkusen 0, FC Porto 3
  • Rangers 1, Liverpool 7
  • Viktoria Plzen 2, Bayern Munich 4
  • Tottenham Hotspur 3, Eintracht Frankfurt 2
  • Sporting CP 0, Olympique de Marseille 2

You can see the updated tables here.

Dolphins will start Skylar Thompson, even if Tua, Teddy cleared 🐬

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The Dolphins will start their third quarterback in as many weeks as rookie seventh-rounder Skylar Thompson will be under center Sunday against the Vikings. It will be his first career start.

  • Tua Tagovailoa returned to practice Wednesday as part of his advancement through the concussion protocol. Tagovailoa suffered a frightening head injury against the Bengals on Sept. 29.
  • Head coach Mike McDaniel has already ruled out Tagovailoa playing this weekend, even if he clears protocol.
  • Teddy Bridgewater was injured against the Jets this past weekend and is in the concussion protocol. Even if he's cleared by Sunday, Bridgewater will backup Thompson.
  • Thompson went 19 for 33 with 166 yards and an interception against the Jets in his regular-season NFL debut.

After a 3-0 start to the season, the Dolphins have lost two straight as injuries have mounted, and not just at the quarterback position. Terron Armstead and Raheem Mostert were among other notable players not practicing Wednesday. But hey, maybe they'll do well now that the pingpong table has been removed from the locker room.

What we're watching Thursday 📺

Mariners at Astros, 3:37 p.m. on TBS
🏈 Baylor at West Virginia, 7 p.m. on FS1
🏈 Temple at UCF, 7 p.m. on ESPN
Guardians at Yankees, 7:37 p.m. on TBS
🏈 Commanders at Bears, 8:15 p.m. on Prime Video