Friday, June 26, 2009
A-Rod Cracks on Braves; Ramirez Smacks Down O's
Players of the Day for Thursday, June 25, 2009 American League The Yankees haven't exactly feasted on interleague play, but they evened their record in the current round at 6-6 (7-8 overall) with an 11-7 victory at Altanta. Considering the level of opposition - Braves, Mets, Nationals, Marlins - the Yankees have underperformed in the odd ritual and close out the interleague schedule with a three-game series at City Park with the Mets. In Thursday's win, Alex Rodriguez broke out the good wood, smacking his 10th home run of the season - a solo shot in the 1st - singling in a run in the 2nd, reaching on an error and scoring in the 4th and singling home two more in the 7th, which put the Yanks safely ahead 10-6. Johnny Damon also rapped out three hits and drove in four, while Derek Jeter went 4-for-4 and scored four times. Both Jeter and Damon stole a base. National League While the Yankees have struggled against NL opponents, the Florida Marlins have been making hay against the AL East, going 9-3 since June 12 (in May, they lost 2 of 3 to the Rays). On Thursday, Florida defeated the Orioles, 11-3, earning the sweep, as Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-5, scored three times and drove in 5 runs, the big blow being an 8th inning grand slam that put the Marlins up 11-0. Sean West improved to 3-2 by blanking the O's on 4 hits over 6 innings. Ramirez, the likely starting shortstop in the upcoming All-Star Game, is having his usual exceptional season, batting .335 with 11 homers and 47 RBI. Even though the home runs are a little down, Ramirez has the Marlins in the NL East and wild card chase. with the Phillies struggling atop the division and the Mets banged up, the Marlins have snuck into contention, just 1/2 game behind the Mets and 1 game back of Philly. Florida concludes their interleague obligations with a 3-game set at Tampa Bay this weekend. NOTES: Phillie Foibles... Whatever is wrong with the Philadelphia Phillies, it probably has more to do with pitching than anything else, though playing AL East teams the past two weeks hasn't exactly been a walk in the park. The Phillies have been losers in 10 of their last 12 games - all interleague - having allowed 71 games in those losses, 7.1 per outing. Other than a 2-1 loss to Baltimore, the fewest number of runs allowed in those losses was 5, and despite the impressive power in the Philadelphia lineup, no team is going to win many games with a pitching staff giving up 7 per game.