Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jake Peavy's Shutout of A's Gets White Sox to First Place; Jason Kubel leads D-Backs over Struggling Phillies

Players of the Day for Monday, April 23, 2012

American League

Since being traded from San Diego to the White Sox, it's been a bumpy road for Jake Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young award winner. Acquired in 2009, prior to the trading deadline, Peavy won three games for Chicago that year, but the White So did not make the playoffs.

Jake Peavy: 3-0
The following two years were typified by various injuries, allowing Peavy to start just 33 games, roughly the amount a healthy starter would get in just one season.

2012 seems to be moving in the right direction, however. After tossing a 3-hit, 4-0, shutout against the A's, Peavy is 3-0 and the White Sox are tied with Detroit for the lead in the AL Central.

Peavy set down the first nine Oakland batters he faced in order and got some help from Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, who hit back-to-back solo homers for a 2-0, fourth inning lead. Peavy got out of a two-on, no outs jam in the bottom of the frame with a double play and cruised to the victory, striking out five and walking two on 107 pitches.

It was the third time Peavy's gone the distance with a shutout for the White Sox, accomplishing the feat once each in 2010 and 2011. His 3-0 record has him tied for the AL lead in wins with six other starters. His 1.88 ERA is among the best in the league, while a WHIP of 0.73 is the best among AL starters.

National League

Jason Kubel
When the Diamondbacks went shopping for more offense during the off-season, they found their way to Minnesota and acquired Jason Kubel, who had played for the Twins since being called up in 2004.

Kubel went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a solo homer in Arizona's 9-5 win over Philadelphia, driving in two and scoring twice, sending the Phillies to their third straight loss and the NL East cellar.

Arizona improved to 9-8 with the victory, just 1/2 game out of second place in the NL West, though everybody in the division is chasing the 13-4 Dodgers.

Kubel's home run was his second of the season, but his .294 batting average portends more good things to come.

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