Friday, March 23, 2012

Jaime Garcia Fans Nine in Cards' 9-0 Win; Dunn Smashes Two HR, Drives in Six for Sox

Players of the Day for Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grapefruit League

Garcia: 5IP 3H 0ER 9K
The St. Louis Cardinals won't miss Albert Pujols' bat much if their pitching staff delivers on its enormous upside. With Adam Wainwright returning from a season missed due to injury and Chris Carpenter being his usual dominating self, the Cards have one of the best one-two pitching punches in the league.

Add in Jaime Garcia, who allowed just three hits over five innings and fanned nine in St. Louis' 9-0 win over the Nationals, and the Cardinals could be looking at a serious number of series sweeps during the regular season.

Garcia picked up his first win of the spring with the solid outing in which he allowed no runs and issued no bases on balls. Last year, when Wainwright went down before the season opener, Garcia filled the void admirably, going 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA and was a huge aid to St. Louis' late season run to the NL wild card and eventually the World Series, though he was 0-2 in the post-season.

Cactus League

Dunn: 2HR, 6RBI
Unfortunately for KC starter Bruce Chen - and possibly a whole bunch of other AL hurlers - Adam Dunn seems to have rediscovered the home run stroke that was sorely missing last year, his first with the White Sox.

Dunn knocked two out of the yard against Chen in a 16-4 clobbering of the Royals. The free-swinging lefty smashed a two run bomb and a grand slam for a six RBI day at the plate.

The homers were Dunn's third and fourth of the exhibition season. Through 11 games, that's one more than he hit in 21 2011 spring games. His RBI total of 12 has also surpassed last spring's total of seven. Dunn is batting .333, compared to .224 last spring and while he fanned 27 times last spring, he's only struck out once this year, all good signs pointing to a potential rebound from his disastrous 2011 campaign.

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