Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alex Rodriguez Chasing History with Two HRs in Yankees Win; Troy Tulowitzki Leads Rockies Past Marlins

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

American League

Alex Rodriguez
The race in the AL East continues to be the one to watch, with all five teams playing at least .500 baseball and the last place Red Sox only 5 1/2 out after beating front-running Baltimore, 6-5, Wednesday.

In New York, the Yankees also picked up a game on the Orioles with an 8-3 win over Kansas City, taking two of three from the visiting Royals. The Yanks are 4 1/2 back, in fourth place.

Andy Pettitte improved to 2-1 off of seven solid innings, allowing two earned while striking out eight, while Alex Rodriguez produced his first multiple home run game of the season by belting a pair, helping stake Pettitte to a 5-0 lead after three innings.

A-Rod launched his sixth of the season with a man aboard in the bottom of the first inning, following up with a solo shot in the third, his seventh homer. He was 2-for-4 with three RBI, giving him 18 ribbies thus far into the season.

Though Rodriguez's seasonal numbers aren't all that dramatic, he is chasing a few historic marks. He stands at 636 homers, 24 shy of tying Willie Mays for fourth all-time. Now 10th all-time in RBI with 1911, he will soon surpass some of baseball's great run producers. Just ahead are Eddie Murray (1917), Jimmie Foxx (1922), Ty Cobb (1938), Stan Musial (1951), Lou Gehrig (1995) and Barry Bonds (1996). Rodriguez would have to tally 107 RBI this season to become only the fourth player in baseball history to drive in 2000 runs, joining Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Cap Anson, some pretty elite company.

National League

Troy Tulowitzki
After downing the Marlins, 8-4, the Colorado Rockies are still only 16-27 and 13 1/2 games out in the NL West, but that doesn't mean they're not hitting. On the contrary, their pitching staff is last in the league with a horrific 5.12 ERA, a number which does not imply a lot of wins.

In Wednesday's win the Rockies were a marvel of efficiency, scoring eight runs on the same number of hits, staving off a sweep in Miami. Troy Tulowitzki doubled and cracked a three-run homer off Marlin starter Carlos Zambrano in four at-bats, to help power the Rockies.

Colorado, as a team, is batting .250, which is right in the middle of the NL team stats, but they are above average in most of the other offensive categories. Their 209 runs is third-best in the league and they are also third in home runs (46) and RBI (202), with a .419 team slugging percentage, second, behind St. Louis, which leads the league at .457.

A little pitching and the Rockies could become dangerous.

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