Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Beckett, BoSox Top Rays; Jimenez Shuts Out D-Backs
Players of the Day for Tuesday, April 7 American League Josh Beckett is back and in mid-season form, or so it would seem to the reigning AL champions, Tampa Bay. Beckett stymied the Rays on 2 hits over 7 innings, fanning 10 while allowing just one run. Boston won their home opener, 5-3, with Jonathan Papelbon picking up the save. Beckett was able to relax after his teammates built a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning and he had all of his stuff working including a nice moving fastball. Boston's burly starter struck out Tampa strongman, Carlos Pena, three times and was ahead in the count on almost every batter he faced. National League When the season started, Ubaldo Jiménez was a .500 starter, with 16 wins and 16 losses, but, following his 7 shutout innings in Colorado's 3-0 win over Arizona, he looks to become better than that as the 2009 season progresses. Jimenez was in complete control Tuesday night, allowing 4 hits and 3 walks over 7 strong innings, striking out 8 D-Backs in the process. The Rockies' rightie reached the upper limit of his pitch count, throwing 107 pitches, 61 for strikes, but the Colorado relief corps of Manny Corpas and Huston Street mopped up with an inning of work each.