Commentary

Next Level Player of the Week

Updated: July 12, 2011, 8:04 PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Information

1
CC Sabathia P

Sabathia matched his career high with 13 strikeouts Thursday, and all of them were swinging. Sabathia's overpowering slider made the difference. Brewers hitters were 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts in at-bats ending on the slider. In his past four starts, he is holding the opposition to an .086 average (3-for-35) with 19 strikeouts against his slider.

2
Homare Sawa M

Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa notched the tournament's first hat trick, becoming the oldest player (32 years, 298 days) in Women's World Cup history to score three goals in a game. Sawa was also the oldest Japanese player to score in WWC play. She headed home two goals off set pieces, giving Japan a tournament-high three head-ball goals in two games.

3
Abby Wambach F

The U.S. took a tournament-high 27 shots Saturday against Colombia, including eight by forward Abby Wambach (one on goal). Although Wambach remained scoreless in the tournament (she led the team in qualifying with eight goals), she did create a game-high four scoring chances with her passing.

4
Dominick Cruz MMA

Cruz (18-1) successfully defended his UFC bantamweight title by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47) against Urijah Faber, avenging his only career loss. Cruz took Faber down four times (three times in Round 5) while denying the takedown on four of Faber's five attempts. Cruz landed more significant strikes throughout the fight (90 to 50), including a 43 percent success rate in the "championship rounds."