Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Lee Shuts out Nats; Wieters Arrives with 5 RBI
Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 15, 2009 American League When catcher Matt Wieters hit the bigs back in late May, he was all the rage in fantasy circles, as though the Oriole prospect was the second coming of Johnny Bench. To the dismay of many virtual managers, he was not an instant sensation, but, after some initial struggles, Wieters may finally be coming around, though it certainly appears that better days are ahead of him. In Tuesday's 10-5 win over Tampa Bay, Wieters showed what he could do, going 3-for-4 with a single, double, 3-run homer, 5 RBI and 2 scores. Though his numbers are still short of expectations (6 homers and 32 RBI in 78 games) and the O's completely out of playoff contention, Wieters may thrive in the no-pressure environment as Baltimore plays out the string. National League Want to win a divisional title? One thing you need to do is beat up on the weaker teams, like the Phillies did to the Nats all season long. It also helps to have a bona fide ace on the mound, like Cliff Lee, who stymied the Nationals on 6 hits for a complete game 5-0 shutout. Lee struck out 9 and walked 3, posting his 3rd shutout and 6th complete game of the year. Three of those complete games and two shutouts have come while a member of the Phillies, whom he joined at the end of July. The Phillies are 12-3 vs. the Nationals this season and have two games still to play with the worst team in the majors. At 50-94, the Nationals are virtually assured of recording another 100-loss season. Philadelphia is 7 games clear of second place Florida in the division. Their magic number is 12. NOTES: Time is running out on the Texas Rangers. They are in danger of becoming an afterthought - the best team to NOT make the playoffs - after losing their third straight in a 6-1 loss to the A's. Texas is now 6 games behind the Angles in the AL West and 5 1/2 behind Boston in the wild card race. The Red Sox topped the Angels, 4-1, for their 6th straight win. With just 18 games left in the regular season, the Rangers need to start winning almost every game. In the National League, the Giants don't have the look of a team that relishes being left behind as they blasted the Rockies for the second straight day. After Monday's 9-1 thumping, San Fran took Colorado out for a 10-2 whipping on Tuesday, creeping to within 2 1/2 games of the Rockies for the wild card lead. Seemingly unable to cope with prosperity, the Rockies have dropped four straight and gotten themselves back into contested waters. The Giants go for the series sweep tonight at home.