Friday, June 12, 2009
Pena Knocks #19; Ibanez Blast Buries Mets in 10
Players of the Day for Thursday, June 11, 2009 American League While the Red sox were in the process of sweeping the Yankees (see notes below), Tampa Bay has been busy taking two of three from the Angels and moving back to .500 (31-31). With the Red Sox just 6 games ahead, the Rays may soon find themselves back in the thick of the division and wild card races. In Thursday's 11-1 thumping, Carlos Pena added to his resume with a 1-for-3 night which included a sac fly for one RBI, a walk and run scored and a three-run homer in the 8th inning to finish off the scoring. despite his horrific .229 batting average, Pena is otherwise having a solid season, with 19 homers and 47 RBI. He's on pace for his third straight 30+ homer and 100+ RBI season. National League The Phillies headed into New York on Tuesday with a 3-game lead over the Mets in the NL East. They departed with a 4-game bulge after back-to-back extra-inning wins and a decided psychological edge. After dropping the first game of the series 6-5, the Phillies responded with an 11-inning win on Chase Utley's home run on Wednesday for a 5-4 win and followed that up with a 3-run Raul Ibanez blast in the 10th inning of Thursday's game, posting a 6-3 result. Ibanez's game-winner was his only hit of the game, but it was his 21st of the season, one behind San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez in the NL, while the 3 ribbies pushed him to the league lead in that department with 58. NOTES: The Yankees were swept in Fenway by the Red Sox, making it 8 straight wins for Boston in the rivalry. The Yanks swaggered into Boston with a 1-game lead in the standings, but left with bowed heads, 2 games back. How big a deal is losing 8 straight to the Red Sox? Well, since it is the longest winning streak in the rivalry for Boston since the Yankees were called the Highlanders in 1911-12, even the NY Daily News is praising Boston's emergence as the powerhouse in the division. Are Mort Zuckerman's guys playing to Boston's ego, or is there a hidden agenda, something to get the Yankee juices flowing? We'll see what happens when the Yanks take on cross-town rivals next: the Mets.