Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Cabrera Leads ChiSox; Soto's 7 RBI Slaughter Pirates
Players of the Day from Tuesday, August 26, 2008 American League Batting in the leadoff position, Orlando Cabrera went 4-for-5, with two doubles, a triple, 2 RBI and 3 runs, as the White Sox buried the Orioles, 8-3, and took a 2 game lead in the Central division. A steady performer, Cabrera ranks 15th in the AL with 148 hits, despite his rather pedestrian .276 batting average. Notes: The rest of the Central division keeps looking up at the White Sox, who have led the division most of the season. The Twins lost their 4th straight and are two back, while Cleveland hopped past Detroit into 3rd place with their 9th straight win - a 10-4 pasting of the Tigers. Cliff Lee won his 19th, tops in the AL and tied with Arizona's Brandon Webb for best in the majors. In the East, all eyes were on Alex Rodriguez, who went 0-5, grunded into 2 double plays, struck out twice and stranded seven runners as the Red Sox took the first game of the final series between the Sox and Yankees at Yankee stadium, 7-3. With Tampa Bay losing, 6-2, to Toronto, Boston is now just 3 1/2 behind the Rays with the fading Yankees 9 1/2 back. The Angels got a complete game, 7-hit performance from John Lackey, topping the A's, 5-1, reducing their magic number for clinching the West to 15. National League Rookie Geovany Soto has been a solid contributor at the bottom of the Cubs' lineup all year, but on Tuesday, he was incredible, socking his 20th home run and a pair of bases-loaded doubles to drive in 7 runs in Chicago's 14-9 thrashing of Pittsburgh. Soto is batting .285 with 20 homers and 78 RBI, mostly from the #7 or 8 spot in the order. He's the leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Notes: Ben Sheets (12-7) shut the Cardinals out for 6 innings and then took a seat as the Brewers clubbed St. Louis, 12-0, keeping Milwaukee 5 games behind the Cubs and solidly in front in the wild card chase. The Cardinals and Mets both trail the Brewers in the wild card by 4 1/2 games. Speaking of the chokers... er, Mets, they seem to be starting their September swoon a week early, blowing a 7-run lead to the Phillies on Tuesday, as Philly won, 8-7, in 13 innings to take over first place in the NL East by 1/2 game. The Mets have had bullpen issues all season, but especially since closer Billy Wagner went on the DL August 3rd. Wagner is expected to be out at least until the middle of September. The Mets used 8 pitchers on Tuesday. In the West, Arizona and the Dodgers both lost, keeping the Diamondbacks 3 games in front. Bandon Webb failed to win his 20th, as the Padres knocked him around in a 9-2 San Diego win.