Thursday, September 2, 2010

David Price Stops Blue Jays; Tommy Hanson Gets Braves Past Mets on 1 Hit

Players of the Day for Wednesday, September 1, 2010 American League In his first season as a full-time starter for Tampa Bay, David Price was good, though not great. He finished 2009 with a 10-7 record, passable for any young pitcher fitting into a rotation for the first time. This season, however, Price has been sensational. After laying it all on the line in a 2-1 win over Toronto, Price finds himself in the midst of a tight pennant race with the Yankees and an even tighter push for the AL Cy Young award. Price worked eight strong innings in the win, allowing a single run on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven, improving to 16-6 on the year. Even though he's pitched well and the Rays have won three of the last four games he's started, it was his first win in nearly a month, the last W coming on August 9. But the improvement in Price's overall number is impressive. Beyond the additional six wins this season over last, his ERA is down to 2.92 (4.42 last season) and his WHIP is a respectable 1.24, down from 1.35 in 2009. While his walk total of 67 is still a bit high, his 161 strikeouts have him tied for 8th most in the league with teammate James Shields and the Rangers' Cliff Lee. Price is vying for Cy Young honors with a host of hurlers around the league, including Boston's Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester, the Yankees' C.C. Sabathia, Texas' C.J. Wilson and Oakland's Trevor Cahill. Tampa's win kept them one game behind the Yankees in the AL East. Boston is 8 games off the pace and Toronto all but out of it, 14 games back. National League Atlanta just keeps rolling along, winning their fifth straight with a 4-1 win over the Mets, as Tommy Hanson left after allowing just one hit in seven innings of work. Hanson (9-10) walked just one batter and struck out three. With a three-run lead, manager Bobby Cox decided that Hanson's 96 pitches were enough for the young hurler and pulled him for Jonny Venters in the 8th, who proceeded to allow the only Mets' run of the evening. Billy Wagner worked a perfect ninth for his 31st dave of 2010. The Braves remained three games ahead of the Phillies in the NL East.

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