Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jimenez Tosses No-Hitter; Break Up the A's!

Players of the Day for Saturday, April 17, 2010 National League Ubaldo Jimenez wasn't nearly perfect, but he was sure good enough, tossing the first no-hitter of the season in a 4-0 Rockies win over the Braves, in Atlanta. Jiminez walked six batters, but made up for it by striking out 7, and finishing strong, retiring the final 15 batters of the game. Jimenez issued all of his bases on balls in the first five innings, including walking the leadoff hitter in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. He got plenty of help from his infield, which turned a first inning double play, but produced two fielder's choices. A pick-off of Kenshin Kawakami by catcher Miguel Olivo helped him out of a rough 3rd inning, in which he walked two Atlanta hitters. Jimenez has been hot as a barbecue to start the season, the no-no improving his record to a sparkling 3-0, with an ERA of 1.29 and 20 Ks over 21 innings. The Colorado win moved them into sole possession of 2nd place in the NL West, 2 games behind the Giants, who hammered the Dodgers, 9-0, behind 6 shutout innings from Tim Lincecum (also 3-0). Lincecum had three singles himself, driving in three runs. American League Oakland won again on Sunday, beating the O's, 4-3, improving to 9-4 with a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL West. while still early in the season, could this start be an early-warning sign that Billy-ball and Sabremetrics are still alive and well? Whatever the case of that debate, Howie Kendrick and the Angels aren't about to take it lying down. Still mired in last place in the division, the Angels improved to a somewhat respectable 5-7 win a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays. Howie Kendrick had a break-out game, going 3-for-5 with a stolen base. Kendrick opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the 1st, singled, stole second and scored in the 8th and singled home another run in the 9th, for his third RBI of the day. Kendrick scored twice and upped his batting average to .317. The Angels go for the three-game road sweep Sunday afternoon in Toronto before returning home for a 10-game home stand with 4 games against Detroit, followed by three each with the Yankees and Indians. NOTES: The Mets and Cardinals played the longest game of the season, with the Mets prevailing, 2-1, in 20 innings. The game produced some stunning stats. The two teams used 19 pitchers, who produced 35 strikeouts while allowing just 24 hits. Albert Pujols actually had a fair night at the plate, going 2-for-5 and scoring a key run in the bottom of the 19th after the Mets had surged ahead 1-0, in the top of the inning. Not surprisingly, Pujols walked 4 times. Three Mets had rough nights at the plate: Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur each went 0-7, though Reyes scored the Mets' first run (on Francoeur's sac fly), and drove in the game-winner with a sac fly in the 20th. The Mets and Cards played a 25-inning contest in 1974, won by St. Louis, 4-3.

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