Thursday, May 7, 2009
Dodgers Do It; Santana Blanks Phils; Martinez Mashing for Tribe
Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 6, 2009 American League Cleveland's Victor Martinez, who missed much of last season due to injuries, is back playing full time, splitting his field duties between catcher and first base, and the change seems to be paying off with exceptional numbers at the plate. In Cleveland's 9-2 win at Boston Wednesday night, Martinez singled, doubled and homered in 5 at-bats, driving in four runs and scoring three times. Thus far in the 2009 campaign, Martinez has launched 6 balls out of stadiums, driven in 19 runs and is batting at a brisk .398 pace, 2nd best in the AL. He also leads the Indians in runs, having crossed the plate 22 times. National League Johan Santana (4-1) pitched brilliantly, and the Mets' bullpen didn't blow his chance at a win as the Mets topped the Phillies, 1-0, making life in the NL East more interesting than ever. Santana survived a heated pitcher's duel with Chan Ho Park, who also had an impressive start - one hit and 3 walks while fanning 5 over 6 innings. The Mets' ace was just a little bit better, going 7 innings, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks. Santana struck out 10 before giving way to Pedro Feliciano, who worked the 8th, and Francisco Rodriguez, who picked up his 8th save with a perfect 9th. Santana's 54 Ks gave him the NL lead and tied him with KC's Zack Greinke for the major league lead. As usual, the Mets hurler is putting up outstanding numbers. His ERA and WHIP are both 0.91. Very nice. In spite of the loss, Philly remained atop the NL East standings, 1/2 game better than Florida, but just 1 1/2 ahead of the charging Mets, who have won 3 straight and evened their record at 13-13. NOTES: The LA Dodgers set a major league record with their 13th straight home win to open a season, one better than the 1911 Detroit Tigers. The Dodgers whipped up on the NL's weakest team, the Washington Nationals, downing them by a 10-3 score. Thanks to their outstanding start at home, the 21-8 Dodgers have built up a 6 1/2 game lead in the NL West.