Saturday, September 4, 2010

French Takes No-Hitter Into 7th; Hamels, Phils Close to Within One Game of Braves

Players of the Day for Friday, September 3, 2010 American League With fans focusing on pennant races and post-season positioning, little notice has been given to send-division teams and upcoming players like Seattle's Luke French, who tossed seven inning of 1-hit ball at the Cleveland Indians Friday. Given a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, French dueled with Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona, who pitched well (4 hits, 1 ER) but didn't get any run support as the Mariners held on for the 1-0 home win. French took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but gave up a one out walk to Shin-Soo Choo before Shelley Duncan scratched out a single. French worked out of trouble, getting Jayson Nix to line into an inning-ending double play, one of two the Mariners turned. Nix evened his record at 4-4, lowering his ERA down to 3.66. With an 0-2 record and 6.27 ERA as of August 1st, French has gone 4-2 since, including two straight wins in which he's allowed just one earned run. National League Cole Hamels was tough as nails in Philadelphia's 1-0 win over Milwaukee, allowing just three hits over seven innings in his most important start of the season. Plagued by a lack of run support, Hamels has been going to the hill knowing he can't give the opponents anything, which is exactly what's he's done in his last two starts. On Sunday, Hamels blanked the Padres on four hits over 8 innings. With Friday night's outing, he hasn't allowed a run in 18 innings. Despite outstanding numbers (3.18 ERA, 1.18 WHIP), his last win before beating the Padres was on July 11, fittingly, a 1-0 win over the Reds. Nine times this season, Hamels has allowed two earned runs or less and come away with either no decision or a loss. Because of the lack of runs scored when he's on the mound, his record is just 9-10. On Friday, the Phillies managed to score only one run in the second inning, but Hamels made sure it stood up. The win put the Phillies just one game behind AL East leader, Atlanta, as the Braves were downed by the Marlins 6-1 and have lost two straight. The Phillies have won four in a row and are in perfect position to run down the Braves and take control of the division they've won the past three seasons.

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