Friday, May 8, 2009

Buehrle One-Hits Tigers; Zimmerman Streak Reaches 25; Man-Oh-Manny! 50 Games in the Hole

Players of the Day for Thursday, May 7, 2009 American League Mark Buehrle (5-0) tossed a 1-hitter over 8 innings in Chicago's 6-0 win over Detroit. Perfect through 6 innings, the White Sox lefty allowed the only detroit baserunners in the seventh inning, when he gave up a one-out double to Placido Polanco, walked Clete Thomas, and after getting Miguel Cabrera to fly out, walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases. Cather Gerald Laird lined out, however, to end the Tigers' only scoring threat. That was all Buehrle would allow, one hit and a pair of walks. Paul Konerko reached on a two-out error in the 8th, but Buehrle ended his night getting A.J. Pierzynski to ground out to first before giving way to Bobby Jenks for the ninth. Buehrle struck out 5 on the night, and is sporting a 2.61 ERA and a WHIP of 1.08 National League The Dodgers may have won 13 straight at home to open their season, and the news about Manny Ramirez being suspended for 50 games (violating MLB's substance abuse policy), but the real feel-good story was over on the Washington side of the diamond as Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a single in his first at-bat. The rangy third baseman collected another hit and a walk in five at-bats, scoring twice to help the Nats knock off the Dodgers, 11-9, ending their major league record home win streak. Zimmerman got 2 hits for the tenth time during his streak. He has had 4 hits just once, and hasn't compiled three hits yet. He is batting .336 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI for the last place Nationals. NOTES: The suspension on Manny Ramirez sent shock waves through both leagues on Thursday. His 50 game suspension is one of the stiffest penalties ever imposed on a player for violating the substance abuse policy. Two things aer very clear right now: 1. Steroid use in Major League Baseball has been extremely widespread, with even players who were thought to have been clean - Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez - having been found out; and 2. MLB is not going to allow any leeway on the issue any longer. After years of looking the other way, it now appears that the league is taking a no-nonsense, zero-tolerance policy toward banned substances. It's about time.

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