Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Hernandez' Historic Homer; Sheets Complete
Players of the Day from Monday, June 23, 2008 American League The Seattle Mariners haven't had much to cheer about but Monday night, starting pitcher Felix Hernandez - who came into the game riding a four-game winning streak - provided the highlight of a lifetime by hoisting a 2nd-inning Johan Santana delivery into Shea Stadium's right field stands for a grand slam home run, leading the Mariners to a 5-2 win over the Mets. The slam was the first by an American League pitcher since 1971, almost 15 years before Hernandez was born, but the hurler didn't last long enough to earn his fifth straight win, having to leave the game in the 4th inning with a sprained ankle. Notes: While the Mariners aren't going anywhere in the AL West (they're 19 1/2 games back), the loss for the Mets was stunning and dropped them to 37-38, 4 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. National League Ben Sheets (9-1) pitched his third complete game of the season, working over the Atlanta Braves on four hits, in a 4-1 Milwaukee win. Sheets struck out 7 without walking a batter, dropping his WHIP to 1.04 and his ERA to a solid 2.59. Milwaukee has won three straight and trail the Cubs by 6 games and the Cardinals by 1 1/2 in the NL Central. Notes: Usually considered the weakest division in the NL, this year seems different, as the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers have the three best records in the league. Incidentally, the Cubs, at 48-28, have the best record in the majors, including a ridiculous record in home games of 32-8.