Saturday, September 5, 2009

Halladay 1-Hits Yanks; Ludwick Foils Pirates

Players of the Day for Friday, September 4, 2009 American League Riding a 7-game win streak he Yankees weren't too concerned about having to face Toronto starter Roy Halladay again. In fact, the last time they faced the Blue Jay ace, they roughed him up for 10 hits and 5 runs, knocking out three homers in a 5-3 win. Naturally, Halladay had other ideas, especially since he'd been on the losing end of his last three starts. The result was vintage Halladay and an end to the Yankees' current reign of terror. Halladay tossed a complete game, one-hitter, striking out nine and walking three to improve to 14-8 and bring his ERA back down to 2.98. The only hit came off the bat of Ramiro Pena, the #9 hitter, who was in the lineup at shortstop, giving Derek Jeter a night off. Toronto won, 6-0. It was Halladay's 6th complete game of the season and second shutout. As far as winning his second Cy Young award is concerned, Halladay is still in the running with about five starts remaining. National League The St. Louis Cardinals are on cruise control, 11 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Cubs in the NL Central, their magic number is already down to 17 and it's not even Labor Day. Even on a night in which one of their ace starters, Adam Wainwright, gets blown out, allowing 9 hits and 6 runs in just 5 innings, the hitters take up the slack, especially Albert Pujols (43rd home run, 3 RBI) and Ryan Ludwick, who went 5-for-5 with a pair of homers and a double, driving in 5 runs and scoring 3 times as the Cards trumped the Pirates, 14-7. Ludwick, who's been sharing outfield time with Colby Rasmus and Matt Holliday, still has impressive numbers: 20 HR, 86 RBI and a .276 batting average.

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