Monday, August 23, 2010

Cano, Sabathia Lead Yanks; Garcia's 3-Hit Shutout Great for Cardinals

Players of the Day for Sunday, August 22, 2010 American League The Yankees put slugger Alex Rodriguez on the DL, but they probably won't miss him much since Robinson Cano (left) appears intent on winning the AL MVP award this year. Cano went 2-for-5 in Sunday's 10-0 win over Seattle, but both of his hits came when he appeared at the plate with the bases loaded. In the 5th inning, Seattle walked Mark Teixeira to load 'em up for Cano, who crushed a grand slam home run. It was the third time this season that Teixeira was walked to load the bases and the next batter hit a grand slam. The other two times, that batter was Alex Rodriguez. In the very next inning, Cano came up again with the bases juiced, this time delivering a single which plated two more runs. Cano finished with six RBI, a career high, raising his total to 86 and making him part of the conversation for post-season trophies. He is tied for 8th in the AL in RBI, is 4th in batting with a .325 average, and his 25 home runs are good for 7th in the league. While the Triple Crown seems out of reach, 30 homers, 100 RBI and a batting average North of .320 all seem good bets. While Cano was racking up ribbies, C.C. Sabathia (right) threw six innings of shutout ball, winning his 15th straight decision at Yankee Stadium. He allowed just 3 hits while punching out 8 on strikes without allowing a walk. His 17-5 record ties him with National Leaguers Adam Wainwright and Ubaldo Jimenez for the most wins in the majors. Sabathia's 3.02 ERA and 1.22 WHIP are among the best in the league and his 151 strikeouts are 8th-best in the AL. The Yanks stayed a game ahead of Tampa Bay in the tight AL East race. National League The Cardinals snapped their 5-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Giants on Saturday, and finished up by taking two of three in the series with a 9-0 victory on Sunday. With a pair of aces in Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, anything the Cards get from Jamie Garcia is a huge plus, but the rookie left-hander has been delivering all season. On Sunday, Garcia put on his best performance of the season, blanking the Giants on three hits for his first career complete game and shutout. Garcia was on top of hitters all night, throwing 65 of just 89 pitches for strikes, fanning six and getting most of his outs on ground balls. The Cards turned a pair of double plays allowing Garcia to face just one batter more than the minimum. He improved to 11-6, with an ERA of 2.42 in 24 starts. The Cardinals remain 3 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central, and two games behind the Phillies in the wild card.

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