Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Great Scott! Olsen Sets Down Brewers; Wakefield Knuckles Under Tigers

Players of the Day from Tuesday, May 7, 2008 American League The old knuckler was working last night for Tim Wakefield. Boston's steady starter baffled Detroit hitters on 2 hits over 8 innings as the Red Sox tamed the Tigers, 5-0. Wakefield whiffed six, including Magglio Ordonez and Gary Sheffield twice each. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez slammed back-to-back homers in the 7th inning. For Ramirez, it was career #497, as his countdown to 500 continues. The homer was Ramirez' first since April 19, a span of 15 games. Wakefield threw 98 pitches, 65 for strikes. Notes: The win was the 5th straight for the Red Sox and Tigers' 5th straight loss as Detroit remains mired in last place in the AL Central. In the West, the Angels and A's are locked in. LA, leading the A's by a game, has won 4 in a row, the A's 3 straight. National League The Florida Marlins are playing better than anyone expected, and regained a first place tie in the East last night as Scott Olsen improved to 4-1, working 8 2/3 innings in the Marlins' 3-0 win over Milwaukee.
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Olsen, carrying a 2.22 ERA, has been lights out against the Brewers this season. Prior to last night's outing, he allowed 4 hits and no runs in 7 1/3 innings against Milwaukee back on April 25. The Marlins won, 3-0, but Olson received no decision. Still having some control problems, Olsen walked 4, while striking out 8 last night. Overall he's fanned 23, but issued 19 free passes. Still, his WHIP is rock-solid at 1.05. In his third year as a starter (all with the Marlins), the win evened Olsen's record at 27 wins and 27 losses. Notes: With a team that scarcely resembles the championship squad from 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals continue to lead the Central division by 2 1/2 games over the Cubs. The Cards have dominated their division, winning 12 of 19, and are 14-7 at home and 8-5 on the road. Manager Tony LaRussa seems to have found the formula for early-season success.

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