Sunday, August 23, 2009
Youkilis Delivers 6 As Sox Crush Yanks; Carpenter Nails Down Padres
Players of the Day for Saturday, August 22, 2009 American League The Boston Red Sox exacted a little bit of revenge on Saturday for Friday's 20-11 beat-down by the Yankees, returning the favor with a 14-1 slaughter of their own. Balls were flying around and out of Fenway Park with regularity, as 11 of the Red Sox's 15 hits went for extra bases - four of them homers. Knocking a pair over the Green Monster and adding an RBI double to his mix, Kevin Youkilis led the assault with 6 RBI on the night, upping his batting average to .308, his RBI total to 72 and his homer count to 22. Youkilis had 29 homers and 115 RBI in 2008, his best season as a pro, and is on pace for another solid campaign. Having shifted back to third base, where he is more comfortable and won a gold glove in 2007, Youk may begin belting with more authority, as the Sox battle for the wild card. Boston's win, coupled with the Rangers losing to the Rays, gave the Sox a 2-game edge over Texas, with the Rays one further back. Boston concludes their series with the Yankees Sunday at Fenway. National League The way the Cardinals are playing and Chris Carpenter is pitching, St. Louis could be heading to the World Series and Carpenter for his second Cy Young award (he won it once, in 2005). While the Cubs were losing their third straight to the Dodgers, Carpenter was holding the Padres scoreless over 7 innings, allowing 3 hits while walking 3 and fanning 6. Carpenter (14-3) cruised to the 7-0 win as the Cards dealt out 14 hits, the starter getting one of those himself. Leading the NL in ERA at 2.12, Carpenter is also tied with Colorado's (and former Cardinal) Jason Marquis and teammate Adam Wainwright for the league lead in wins with 14. The win pushed the Cardinal edge in the division to 8 games over the Cubs, 9 over Houston and 9 1/2 over Milwaukee. The Central division, which was a toss-up at the all star break has been all St. Louis since. The Cardinals went 8-7 in the last half of July, but are putting everything together in August, with a 14-5 record thus far. The addition of Matt Holliday to the regular lineup and the continued solid pitching of Carpenter and Wainwright have virtually assured St. Louis of the division title.