Friday, April 24, 2009
Pujols' Pair Completes Sweep of Mets; Fernandez Sets Course for Mariners
Players of the Day for Thursday, April 23, 2009 American League The Seattle Mariners were easily the worst-performing team in the AL last year, checking in with a 61-101 record at season's end, but they are quickly putting 2008 behind them with a hot start and a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West. One reason the Mariners have found success is the pitching of Felix Hernandez, who improved to 3-0 Thursday with a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay in which he went 7 innings, allowing 4 hits and 3 walks while fanning 7. The numbers Hernandez is posting are not remarkable (3.12 ERA, 1.23 WHIP), but his 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio is excellent and he's allowed just one home run over 26 innings pitched. If Hernandez and the rest of Seattle's staff stays focused, who knows how far the plucky Mariners may go? with the Angels banged up, the Rangers still short on pitching, and the A's still trying to prove they can win with marginal players, the division is up for grabs. National League There's that man again. Thanks to the amazing Albert Pujols, the Cardinals swept the Mets in their mid-week three-game series at St. Louis. Pujols went yard twice on Thursday, with a solo shot in the 1st inning and a 2-run blast in the 4th. After that, both sides piled on for a St. Louis 12-8 win. Pujols also singled, stole a base and scored four runs. After 16 games, Pujols has 6 dingers, 21 RBI, a .345 average and has St. Louis sitting atop the NL Central at 11-5, 1 1/2-games to the good. Can you spell M-V-P?