Sunday, June 6, 2010
Youkilis Keeping Red Sox in Race; McCutchen a Star in Pittsburgh
Players of the Day for Saturday, June 4, 2010 American League Boston continues to hang tough in the AL East, the most competitive division in the majors. With their 8-2 win over Baltimore, the Red Sox are tied for third place with Toronto, just 3 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay, with the Yankees anchored in second place, 2 games out. The Red Sox resurgence has been largely due to the all-around superb play of Kevin Youkilis, who is having another in a series of solid seasons. Youkilis was at the center of the Boston attack on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and his 12th home run of the year, driving in three runs to give him 38 total. Batting .320, Youkilis leads the Red Sox in home runs and runs scored (49), as Boston goes for the Sweep of Baltimore on Sunday while the Yankees and Blue Jays wrap up their series in Toronto. National League With a habit of trading away their best players over the past 15 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates aren't exactly the most beloved team in the Steel City, but they do manage to bring along some excellent major leaguers every year. One such player is center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, who is off to a smashing start in his second season, batting .320, with 7 homers, 17 RBI, 13 steals and 34 runs from his usual leadoff spot in the batting order. In Pittsburgh's 6-3 win over the Giants, McCutchen did his thing at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a solo homer, two doubles and a single, scoring three runs and driving in one. In the field, his game-ending, diving catch on Freddie Sanchez's bases-loaded shot to the left-center gap in the 9th saved the game for Pittsburgh. Considering the way he's playing and Pittsburgh's penchant for shipping off its stars, one has to wonder whether McCutchen will still be with the Pirates come September.