Friday, July 22, 2011

Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson Lock into 1-0 Duel; Jayson Heyward Leads Braves Past Rockies

Players of the Day for Thursday, July 21, 2011

American League

Wilson: hard luck
Baseball is essentially a fair game to all, but sometimes great efforts go unrewarded.

Weaver leads AL
with 1.81 ERA
Such was the case as C.J. Wilson matched up in a pitching duel with Jered Weaver as the Angels and Rangers played the rubber game of a three-game series.

Wilson threw eight innings of two-hit ball, giving up one walk and striking out eight batters.

The critical play came in the 2nd inning, as Howie Kendrick was hit by a pitch and took second on Wilson's wild pitch, which struck out Mark Trumbo. The next batter, Mike Trout, lifted a fly ball into shallow center field which should have ended the inning, but was dropped by the Rangers' Endy Chavez, allowing Kendrick to easily score from second.

It turned out to be the only run of the game -unearned - giving the Angels and Weaver the series win. Weaver improved to 13-4 by pitching seven shutout innings, scattering seven hits and two walks while whiffing six in the Angels' 1-0 victory.

The decision left the Rangers with a shrinking, three-game lead over the tenacious Angels, who hung tough in the division race while the Rangers went on a twelve game winning streak which ended when the Angles won Wednesday's game, 9-8.

National League

Jason Hayward
Atlanta's Jason Heyward isn't having the kind of season many expected, though in Thursday's 9-6 comeback win over the Rockies, he provided enough of a spark for fans to believe that he's coming around at the right time.

Heyward, batting only .229, homered and doubled in five at-bats, scoring once and driving in three runs. His two-run home run in the 3rd inning helped cut into a 4-0 Braves lead, and his double in the 7th drove in the game's final run as the Braves scored four times, turning a 6-5 deficit into a 9-6 victory.

The Atlanta win got them 1/2 game closer to the idle Phillies in the NL East. The Braves trail the Phillies by four games but lead the wild card by five games over Arizona.

Colorado dropped to 47-52, 10 games off the pace set by the Giants in the NL West.

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