Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jered Weaver Goes to 5-0, Angels Lead AL West; Nolasco Solid in 6-0 Marlins Win

Players of the Day for Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American League

Jered Weaver
There's a new leader in the AL West, but it's a familiar face, that of the LA Angels, who took the final two games of their three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

As ace hurler Jered Weaver improved his record to 5-0, the Angels left Texas with a one-game lead in the division and the Texas team out of first place for the first time this season.

Weaver was far from perfect, but managed a complete game, 4-1, win, allowing just six hits while punching out 8 batters on strikes. The only Ranger run came in the 6th inning, when Michael Young doubled home Elvis Andrus.

That was it, however, as Weaver set down ten of the next 11 men to finish the game. He did not walk a batter.

A model of consistency has been Weaver's trademark this season. In 36 2/3 innings, he's allowed just five earned runs, resulting in an ERA of 1.23 and a 0.76 WHIP. His 39 strikeouts are tops in the American League.

National League

Ricky Nolasco
Keeping the pressure on the Phillies in the NL East, the Florida Marlins remained 1/2 game back of the division leaders with a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.

Starter Ricky Nolasco delivered seven scoreless innings to go to 2-0 on the season, his teammates giving him an early working margin after scoring four times in the second and twice more in the third inning.

Nolasco set down nine straight in the middle innings, including fanning five in a row - setting the side down in the 4th and the first two batters in the 5th on strikes. He finished with eight Ks and one walk before heading to the bench after seven innings.

It was the second straight 6-0 win for Florida over Pittsburgh. Josh Johnson shut down the Pirates on Tuesday and Florida can cmplete the sweep when the teams take the field Thursday night in Miami.

DIAMOND NOTES: It has to be a little disconcerting for the players, but the LA Dodgers are soon going to be operated by MLB, according to statements made Wednesday afternoon by the Office of commissioner Bud Selig.

It appears to be the first step in fixing the franchise's finances, which have run afoul of late. Revealed during divorce negotiations with his wife Jamie, owner Frank McCourt appears to have put the Dodgers under a $400 million debt burden. MLB will investigate the owner and likely will seek a sale of the team and restructuring of its finances.

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