Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pavano Blanks Pale Hose; Gallardo Keeps Brew Crew on Top

Players of the Day for Friday, June 5, 2009 American League Carl Pavano threw his first complete game shutout since 2005, when he was with the NY Yankees, in Cleveland's 6-0 win over the White Sox. Pavano (6-4) allowed just three hits, walking two, while punching out 6 on strikes. The 6'5" righty was an equal-opportunity out-maker, getting 10 batters on grounders and 11 on fly balls. Despite the positive record, Pavano has benefited from teammate support in his wins. His ERA is a gaudy 4.63, and opponents are batting a healthy .276 against him this year, so the shutout effort has to be encouraging to Cleveland fans. The Indians remain in last place in the AL Central, though only 6 games out. The White Sox, who have been shut out in three of their last four games (all losses) are 3 1/2 behind Detroit and 2 back of Minnesota. National League The Milwaukee Brewers took sole possession of first place in the NL Central as the Cardinals lost while the Brewers were smoking the Braves, 4-0, in Atlanta. Yovani Gallardo tossed 8 shutout innings for the Brewers, giving up just 2 hits, walking 4 and striking out 6 for his 6th win of the season against 2 losses. Gallardo's 1.08 WHIP and 2.84 ERA are close to the tops for NL starters, and his steady work on the mound is one of the reasons the Brewers remain in the division hunt. In his last three starts, Gallardo has been special, allowing just one earned run in 21 1/3 innings, while striking out 21 batters. Having missed most of 2008 due to injury, Gallardo is on track for his best season in his short - three year - major league career.

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