Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sabathia Wins 20th; Tulowitzki on a Tear

Players of the Day for Saturday, September 18, 2010 American League C.C. Sabathia became the first pitcher to notch 20 wins this season, and his doing so kept the NY Yankees in first place. At 9-5, just a little better than ordinary on the road in 2010, Sabathia got plenty of support from his teammates, as the Yanks drubbed the Orioles, 11-3, at Camden Yards. Giving up single runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th innings, Sabathia went seven innings, allowing seven hits while striking out four. It was a good enough effort for win #20, the first time Sabathia, who has been one of the most dominant pitchers in either league the past six years, has won 20 games in a season. The big righty is a stunning 11-1 at Yankee Stadium, where he has been nearly untouchable over the past year and a half. Tampa Bay topped the Angels in 10 innings for a 4-3 win, remaining 1/2 game behind New York in the AL East. The two teams will meet for the final time during the regular season when they open a four-game series on Monday. Sabathia is expected to start the final game of the set, Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. National League Troy Tulowitzki is playing an entirely different brand of baseball than everyone else this September and the Rockies are challenging for the top spot in the NL West because of it. The Rockies won again on Saturday, pounding the Dodgers, 12-2, as Tulowitzki collected three more hits over five at-bats, banging out a double and two more home runs, his 4th and 5th of the last three games and numbers 13 and 14 for the month of September. He scored three times and drove in four more runs. Melvin Mora added to the onslaught with a grand slam. Consider Tulowitzki's numbers for the month of September. He's batting .371 (26-for-70) with 14 homers, 37 RBI (13 in just his last three games). More than half of his hits have been home runs. In fact, only seven of his hits have been singles, as he's hit four doubles and triple over that span. Due to his torrid pace at the plate, the Rockies have clambered back into the divisional and wild card races. They trail the Padres by 1 game, with San Francisco sandwiched in between, 1/2 game out. The Rockies are also 2 1/2 behind the Braves in the wild card. PENNANT NOTES: The Al Central and West divisions are pretty much finished. Minnesota won again, while the White Sox lost their fifth straight, putting the Twins 10 up with 14 games to play. Their magic number is five. Texas also won, while the A's lost, dropping their magic number to 5, with a 10-game lead. In the NL East, both the Phillies and Braves were winners, keeping the East at a 3-game bulge for Philly. The Reds upped their lead to seven games over the Cardinals. While they hammered Houston 11-1, St. Louis was losing to the Padres, 8-4.

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