Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jake Peavy Blanks Cleveland, 1-0; Charlie Morton Silences Reds in 5-0 Win

Players of the Day for Wednesday, April 18, 2011

American League

Jake Peavy
After leaving the mound in agony with a detached muscle in his right shoulder nearly a year ago, Jake Peavy made his first home start in nearly a year for the Chicago White Sox Wednesday night and amazingly looked as good as new.

The NL 2007 Cy Young award winner, traded from San Diego to the Sox late in 2009, blanked AL Central-leading Cleveland on three hits, going the distance in the 1-0 win. Peavy allowed a first inning single, but, after Adam Dunn got the White Sox the lead on a sac fly - scoring Juan Pierre - the righty hurler put down 18 of the next 19 batters, maintaining the slim edge his teammates had established.

Peavy looked strong even in the final innings, striking out eight without issuing a walk. He threw 111 pitches, 78 of them for strikes.

He previously went six inning in LA, surrendering four runs on seven hits in a loss to the Angels, though Peavy did not get a decision in that May 11 contest. He is 1-0 and will remain a part of the White Sox rotation.

Even with the win, the White Sox have a long way to go before getting themselves back into contention. The Indians still hold a five game lead over the Tigers, with Kansas City seven back and the Sox nine games out. Minnesota has virtually self-destructed, 12 1/2 out.

National League

Charlie Morton
Even though they're 19-23, the Pittsburgh Pirates are still only 5 1/2 games off the pace in the NL Central, and proved notice that they are not about to go away, whipping the Cincinnati Reds, 5-0, as Charlie Morton improved to 5-1, his second complete game and first shutout of the season.

Morton has been nothing but special for the Pirates this season and in this outing he was completely in control throughout, limiting a solid Reds' lineup to just five hits, walking two and fanning five.

Needing only 106 pitches, Morton dropped his ERA to 2.62 and is one of the players that have revived hopes of a return to winning baseball in the Steel City.

One of the best turn-around stories of the season thus far, Morton has been a pleasant surprise. In 2007, he was 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA.

The Reds dropped a game off their lead, as St. Louis won their third straight, beating Houston, 5-1. Cincinnati leads the Cardinals by 1/2 game. Milwaukee is four games out with the Pirates another 1 1/2 behind them.

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