Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Danks, Thome Send White Sox into Post-Season; NL AL Series Previews
Players of the Day from Tuesday, September 30, 2008 American League John Danks shut out the Twins on 2 hits over 8 innings and Jim Thome launched a 7th inning solo shot to center field in the 1-0 White Sox win over Minnesota which captured the AL Central division, sending Chicago into the playoffs. The single-game playoff was played at US Cellular Field in Chicago after the White Sox won a coin flip to determine the site and beat the Tigers in a make-up game to tie the Twins for the division lead at the conclusion of the regular season. Twins' starter Nick Blackburn worked into the seventh, shutting out the White Sox until Thome delivered with one out in the bottom of the 7th. Danks worked through the 8th before giving way to closer Bobby Jenks, who retired the Twins in order in the 9th. Notes: The White Sox head south to Tampa Bay to face the Rays in a best-of-five series to see who advances to the AL Championship series. Game one is Thursday, Oct. 2. Chicago sends Javier Vazquez (12-16, 4.67) to the hill against the Rays' James Shields (14-8, 3.56). Shields is 0-1 lifetime against the Sox, but he allowed just one run on seven hits over 6 innings in his last start vs. Chicago. Vazquez is 4-5 vs. Tampa Bay. He took a loss in his last start against the Rays, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits over 7 innings in a 5-3 home loss August 23. Vazquez has not been sharp down the stretch, losing 6 of his last eight starts. He has not even completed 5 innings in any of his last three outings. In the other divisional series, the LA Angels host the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night at 10:07 pm ET. John Lackey goes to the mound for the Angels to face Boston's Jon Lester. National League Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies The Phillies host the Brewers in the opener of their best-of-five series at 3:07 pm ET. Staff ace, Cole Hamels goes for Philly, while the Brewers - due to having used up their rotation in the hotly-contested wild card race - are forced to send up Yovani Galardo, who has started just once since May 1. The Brewers plan to start C.C. Sabathia in game 2 on three days rest. Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Ryan Dempster takes the mound for the Cubs as they open play hosting the Dodgers in the other divisional series, which has a scheduled start of 6:07 pm ET. LA sends Derek Lowe up the hill with a 2-1 lifetime mark against the Cubs. It's widely considered an uphill battle for the Dodgers, who were just 36-45 on the road this season. The Central division winning Cubs were 55-26 at Wrigley Field this season.