Thursday, September 15, 2011

Carlos Guillen Puts Tigers on the Brink with 12th Straight Win; Roy Halladay Shuts Out Astros, 1-0

Players of the Day for Wednesday, September 14, 2011

American League

Carlos Guillen has been nearly a forgotten man in Detroit, having spent much of the season on the DL or simply holding down the Tigers' bench. But in the 12th straight win for the Tigers - their longest winning streak since 1934 - Guillen was the star.

Carlos Guillen
Having played in only 26 games all season, Guillen was in the lineup for the first time in 10 days, and got the Tigers going with a solo homer in the top of the second inning. The White Sox plated four in the bottom frame and held a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth, but Tiger magic struck again as Detroit scored three runs to tie the game.

In the 10th, Guillen put the Tigers up by a run, driving home Will Rhymes with a single, his third hit in five at-bats. Jose Valverde closed it down in the bottom of the 10th, striking out the side for a 6-5 Detroit victory.

Coupled with Cleveland's 9-1 loss at Texas, the Tigers stand one game away from their first Central division title, holding a 12 1/2 game lead over both the White Sox and Indians.

National League

Halladay: 18 wins
The NL Cy Young Award is still being disputed on the field by Arizona's Ian Kennedy, LA's Clayton Kershaw and the Phillies' Roy Halladay, but the NL East is just about over as the Phillies topped the Astros 1-0, on Halladay's six-hit, complete game shutout, his 18th win of the season.

Halladay managed to help the Phillies avoid the ignominy of being swept by the Astros, by far the worst team in the majors, with a 51-98 record. He walked just one and struck out six, boosting his record to 18-5.

Halladay is third in the league in strikeouts (211), wins and ERA (2.34), though he leads Kershaw by one inning atop the NL, with 219 2/3 innings pitched.

The win clinched a playoff spot for the Phillies, which is somewhat meaningless, as they hold an 11 game lead over Atlanta in the division and surely aren't thinking about a wild card with their magic number to clinch the division down to just three.

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