Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lincecum, Brian Wilson Stifle Marlins; Jorge Posada Still Swinging at 39; Uggla Streak at 33

Players of the Day for Saturday, August 13, 2011

American League

Posada: turning 40
For an aging catcher on the verge of retirement, Jorge Posada still brings a fairly potent bat to the plate, and the Tampa Bay Rays found out just how potent when Posada had three hits against them on Saturday, driving in six runs in the Yankees' 9-2 victory.

In his initial at-bat, Posada came to the plate in the 2nd inning with the bases full of teammates and delivered a sharp single to right to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead.

The score remained the same until the 5th inning, when Curtis Granderson socked his 33rd home run to lead off the frame, tying Jose Bautista for the major league lead, at 33.

After a Robinson Cano double and a a pair of walks, the Yankees loaded the bases again for Posada, who this time took one out of the yard to right field for a grand slam and four more RBI.

Posada had also singled and was stranded in the 4th, making his line score 3-for-5, with his 10th homer of the season and his 10th career grand slam. New York shaved Boston's lead in the division to one game, as the Red Sox fell, 5-4, to Seattle.

Posada turns 40 this Wednesday, August 17.

National League

Lincecum: 10 Ks
The San Francisco Giants would like to get back to the playoffs - and the World Series - this season, but they realize that to do so, they'll have to either catch the Diamondbacks in the NL West or the Braves in the wild card.

Arizona won its fifth straight with a 6-4 score over the Mets, but Atlanta fell to the Cubs, 8-4 on Saturday. so the Giants needed a solid start from Tim Lincecum to keep pace in the West and shave Atlanta's lead to five in the wild card.

Wilson: 35 saves
They got what their ace has been known to deliver, a superior effort, blanking the Florida Marlins on three hits and a pair of walks over seven innings for a 3-0 win.

Improving to 11-9, Lincecum left it all out on the mound, throwing 119 pitches before taking a seat in the 8th. Jeremy Affelt worked a hitless frame in the 8th, and Brian Wilson made it interesting, surrendering a hit and a walk in the 9th, but escaped for his 35th save, one behind Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel.

Striking out 10, Lincecum remained third in strikeouts in the NL with 175, behind Cliff Lee (177) and Clayton Kershaw, who leads with 193.

The win left the Giants two games behind streaking Arizona in the West. After completing their sereis with the Marlins on Sunday, the Giants will head to Atlanta for a four game series with the Braves. They don't face the Diamondbacks until September, when they will split a pair of three game series at home and away.

STREAKS: Dan Uggla made it 33 straight games in which he's had a hit - the longest streak in the majors this season - with a 1st inning single and a 4th inning home run, his 27th, though the Braves lost to the Cubs, 8-4.

The longest winning and losing streaks are currently both in the NL. Arizona has won five straight, but the Houston Astros have dropped an equal number in a row. The Astros are the worst team in the majors, at 38-82. With 42 games left on the schedule, they have a chance to go down in the annals of baseball with one of the worst records of all time.

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