Saturday, August 22, 2009

Matsui, Yankees Bomb Red Sox, 20-11; Wolf Does It All in Dodger Win

Players of the Day for Friday, August 21, 2009 American League There were so many stars in the Yankees' 20-11 win over Boston (no, that's not a football score), it might have been difficult to find just one player to feature as POTD. Considering that the Yanks banged out 23 hits (11 for extra bases), scored multiple runs in the 1st, 2nd, 5th 6th and 9th innings, and won their 5th straight over Boston, the stats were amazing. A-Rod was 4-for-4 with a triple, Derek Jeter went 3-for-6 and scored three times, Mark Teixeira was 3-for-5, with 3 RBI and 3 runs, but it was Mr Monster Mash himself, Hideki Matsui, who wielded the biggest bat of the night, going 2-for-6, both hits being 3-run home runs to right. Matsui also grounded out in the 7th inning, getting Rodriguez home after his triple, giving him 7 RBI on the night. The game was the highest-scoring one in the long history of these two teams, surpassing the previous high score, when the New York Highlanders topped the Boston Americans, 15-14, back in 1903. With that history in tow, the Yankees continued their drive to the AL East crown, taking a 7 1/2 game lead over the Sox and leading the third place Rays by 10 1/2. The teams renew the rivalry twice more this weekend at Fenway. National League At 8-6, with a 3.34 ERA, LA's Randy Wolf is having a pretty good season with the first-place Dodgers. Wolf, who turns 33 today, got his birthday celebration started a little early, winning a 2-1 contest with the Cubs almost all by himself. On the mound, Wolf was nearly untouchable, allowing just one earned run on one hit and two walks over 7 innings, fanning five. At the plate, he was perfect, doubling in both of the Dodger runs in the second inning and walking in the 4th. When he came to bat in the 7th, his job done, he was pinch hit for by Juan Pierre. George Sherrill held the Cubs hitless in the 8th and Jonathan Broxton picked up his 27th save with a perfect 9th.The win was the second straight for LA, and provided a little breathing room as Colorado was losing to the Giants, 6-3. The Rockies are 4 1/2 back of LA, the Giants trail the leaders by 5 1/2. NOTES: With so much focus on the Yankees-Red Sox series, it's hard to get excited about the other divisional races, but they are still not close to being decided. The Angels have lost two straight and lead the Rangers by 5 1/2. Texas would like to run down the Angels, but they are locked into a wild card battle with the Red Sox and Rays. Boston is one up on the Rangers and 3 ahead of Tampa Bay. The Tigers continue to be hounded by the White Sox in the Central, with a 3 1/2 game lead. Chicago's path to the playoffs is probably through Detroit, as they are 7 1/2 back in the wild card. Over in the NL, Philly still leads the Marlins by 5 1/2 and the Braves by one more. The Central looks to be a one-team race, as the Cardinals have taken control, 7 games to the good over the Cubs. In August, the Cards have amassed a 13-5 record while the Cubs have wilted, going a pathetic 7-12 thus far.

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