Monday, April 30, 2007

Maine is Mets' Mainstay; Baseball Mourns Cardinals' Hancock

Josh Hancock (1978-2007) - The prayers and sympathy of everyone involved in Major League Baseball are extended to the friends and family of St. Louis Cardinals' relief pitcher Josh Hancock, who died tragically in an auto accident just after midnight Sunday morning. Hancock was an integral part of the Cardinals' 2006 season and World Series win. He appeared in 62 games in the regular season, going 3-3 with 50 strikeouts in 77 innings. In his memory, the Cardinals will wear #32 patches on their sleeves the remainder of the season. Sunday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League The New York Yankees set a major league mark by using 5 or more pitchers in their 10th consecutive game, a 7-4 home loss to the Boston Red Sox. Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Alex Cora all homered for the Sox, who took 2 of 3 from the Yanks over the weekend. Derek Jeter homered in the 9th, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Alex Rodriguez, without a home run or RBI in his last 5 games, ended the month of April (Yankees are off today) one RBI shy of the record of 35, still owned by Juan Gonzalez, and tied with Albert Pujols with 14 April round-trippers. A-Rod did manage to set the AL home run mark, surpassing Ken Griffey Jr.'s 13. As the Yankees sink slowly in the East, having lost 8 of their last 9, struggles continue for many of the hitters, most notably, Bobby Abreu (2-30), Rodriguez (3-18), Hideki Matsui (3-18) and Johnny Damon (3-19). In last place, 6 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, rumors are circulating that manager Joe Torre's days are numbered. It would be no surprise if the boss (George Steinbrenner) makes a change within the week. Fausto Carmona (2-1), took a shutout into the 9th, but gave up a one-out home run to Aubrey Huff and had to settle for 8 1/3 innings of 6 hit work as the Cleveland Indians took two of three from Baltimore. The AL Central leading Tribe have won 7 of their last 8. Other AL Scores Toronto 7 Texas 3 Detroit 4 Minnesota 3 - B. Inge, walk-off HR (4), T. Hunter, 15-gm. hit streak LA Angels 5 Chi White Sox 2 - V. Guerrero, HR (7) Seattle 5 Kansas City 1 Tampa Bay 5 Oakland 3 - A. Reyes, S (9) National League John Maine (right) outdueled Washington starter Jason Bergmann, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8 in 7 innings of shutout ball as the MY Mets took a 1-0 decision in D.C. Maine, 4-0, lowered his ERA to 1.35, good for 2nd in the NL behind Tim Hudson's 1.22. In his first full season as a starter, Maine's been excellent in each of his 5 outings, going 7 or more innings in his 4 wins. Despite issuing 17 walks, Maine's WHIP is still a very solid 1.05. The Mets took back 1st place in the NL East as Atlanta fell to Colorado, 9-7. The two teams have been exchanging 1/2-game leads for most of the month. There are plenty of reasons why the Milwaukee Brewers have a 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Central, but one of them has to be the outstanding relief work of closer Francisco Cordero who notched his major league-leading 10th save (tied with Arizona's Jose Valverde) in Sunday's 3-1 win at Houston. In 11 1/3 innings, Cordero has yet to allow an earned run, and has given up only 2 hits while walking 7 and fanning 19. Colorado's Matt Holliday socked an 11th-inning 2-run homer to finish off Atlanta, 11-9, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, though he lowered his batting average with a 2-6 performance, to .394. Holliday, who still leads the NL in hitting,
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scored once and drove in 3, giving him 16. Chicago's Derek Lee is second at .391 and teammate Todd Helton is close at .390. In the seventh inning, Rockies' shortstop Troy Tulowitzki accomplished the 13th unassisted triple play in major league history. On a 3-2 count with runners on first and second, Tulowitzki snagged Chipper Jones' line drive behind second base, stepped on the bag to force Kelly Johnson, then took a few steps to tag Edgar Renteria. The Braves were running on the pitch. Other NL Scores Philadelphia 6 Florida 1 - J. Moyer (W, 3-1) Cincinnati 9 Pittsburgh 5 - A. Harang (W, 4-0), A. Dunn HR (6) LA Dodgers 5 San Diego 4, 17 innings - Dodgers, 12-7 vs. NL West Arizona 5 San Francisco 4 - Diamondbacks, 5 gm. win streak

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