Friday, August 19, 2011

Ricky Romero Goes Distance, Shuts Out Oakland; MIke Minor, Craig Kimbrel Shut Down Giants

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 18, 2011

American League

Another season of frustration in Toronto heads into the final stretch, as the Blue Jays once again find themselves in the lower tier of the AL East division, 12 games behind the first place Yankees despite riding a three-game win streak that has them at 64-60.

Ricky Romero
Opening a four game series in Oakland, Ricky Romero was on the mound for the Jays, displaying his enormous talent with a three-hit shutout of the A's, as Toronto built him a sizable lead and eventually prevailed, 7-0.

Improving to 12-9 with his fifth straight win, Romero gave up a couple of walks and struck out six A's. It was his fourth complete game and second shutout of the season, needing just 111 pitches to go the distance.

With an ERA of 2.73, Romero give the Blue Jays hope for the future. Just three years into his major league career, Romero is poised to possibly become one of baseball's elite hurlers.

His emergence would be a boost, since Toronto has plenty of power in its lineup. Their 145 homers have them tied with Texas with the third most in the AL. The Yankees lead the league with 163 bombs; the Red Sox are second, at 150.

National League

Minor: 9 Ks
Chipper Jones' 5th inning solo homer off San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum was all the Atlanta pitching staff needed to take the finale of their four game series against the Giants, 1-0, winning three of four and cementing themselves as the front-runner in the wild card race and a formidable foe come the playoffs.

Kimbrel: 37 Saves
Atlanta starter Mike Minor out-dueled Lincecum, delivering six scoreless innings before giving the ball over to the bullpen, which blanked the Giants on one hit the rest of the way.

Minor allowed four hits and a walk, striking out nine Giants. The Braves fanned 12 would-be hitters in the game.

Eric O'Flaherty worked a solid 7th inning, allowing just one hit. Johnny Venters got through the 8th without surrendering a hit and Craig Kimbrel fanned two in a perfect 9th inning for his league-leading 37th save. Kimbrel has struck out 96 batters in 60 2/3 innings. Both he and Minor are rookies on a very youthful Atlanta staff.

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