Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mariano Rivera and Time Wakefield Reach Mound Milestones; Fielder and Braun Power Brewers

Players of the Day for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

American League

Wakefield: 200 Ws
A couple of milestones were reached by two veterans of the Yankee-Red Sox wars on Tuesday, specifically, Boston's knuckle-balling Tim Wakefield notched his 200th win as the Red Sox trounced the Blue Jays, 18-6, and Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera, collected his 600th save in New York's 3-2 win over Seattle.

Rivera: 600 Saves
The Yankees got six good innings out of starter AJ Burnett (4 hits, 2 runs, 11 Ks) and key contributions from Robinson Cano, who had a solo homer in the 2nd inning and drove in the eventual winning run in the 6th on a fielder's choice. Cano's two RBI tied him for the AL with teammate Curtis Granderson at 111. The focus was clearly on Rivera though, who came on, as he customarily does, in the 9th inning, quieting the Mariners by sandwiching a single to Ichiro Suzuki between a pair of strikeouts, the game ending when Russell Martin gunned down Ichiro at second as he attempted to steal.

Jacoby Ellsbury
Rivera's 41st save of the season was also the 600th of his major league career, placing him just one behind the only other pitcher in the "600 save club," Trevor Hoffman. Rivera should have ample opportunity to tie and surpass Hoffman for the all-time lead in saves as the Yankees have 15 more games on the regular season slate.

Dustin Pedroia
In Boston, the Red Sox won just their second game in their last nine tries, as Wakefield lasted six innings while his teammates were collecting 18 hits. Wakefield's 200th win was nothing special other than its milestone status, as he gave up six hits and five runs before exiting. The knuckle-baller has started 461 games over 20 years, compiling 200 wins against 178 losses.

Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury each went 4-for-5 and scored four times. Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a solo homer, two singles and a double, driving in three runs. Pedroia was busy collecting total bases, homering twice and doubling twice, driving in five runs.

Verlander: 23-5
The Yankees maintained a 4-game lead over Boston in the East, and the Red Sox advanced another game over Tampa Bay in the wild card race, as the Rays fell to Baltimore, 4-2. Boston's wild card lead is back to four games.

Justin Verlander won his 23rd game of the season, hurling seven scoreless innings at the White Sox as the Tigers inched closer to the AL Central crown with a 5-0 win. Verlander allowed six hits, two walks and struck out six. Detroit's lead in the division is 12 1/2 games over the Sox and Indians; their magic number is three.

The Angels and Rangers were both winners in the West. Texas remains three games in front of LA in the division.

National League

Prince Fielder
Prince Fielder's solo home run (32) in the 6th inning tied the game at 1-1, and Ryan Braun's bases-empty blast (28) in the 10th provided all the runs needed by Zach Greinke and a parade of five relievers as the Brewers gutted out a 2-1 win over Colorado, improving on their MLB-best home record (52-22) while keeping the second place Cardinals at bay, 6 1/2 games back.

Milwaukee's magic number is reduced to eight, with just 13 games left on their schedule.

Ryan Braun
In the wild card race, both Atlanta and St. Louis were winners, so the Braves continue to lead them by four games.

Out West, both Arizona and San Francisco had to go to extra innings for wins, with the D'Backs knocking off the Dodgers, 5-4, in 10 innings on a bases loaded walk to Chris Young, while the Mark DeRosa's walk-off RBI single in the 12th provided the winning margin in the Giants' 3-2 win over the Padres.

The Giants trail the Diamondbacks by 8 1/2 games in the West.

Philadelphia lost their third straight, but still hold an 11 game lead over the Braves in the East. The Phillies' magic number is five.

No comments: