Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jerome Williams Tosses First Shutout in Nine Years; Matt Holliday 3-for-5 for Front-Running Cards

Players of the Day for Tuesday, May 1, 2012

American League

The last time Jerome Williams threw a shutout in the majors, he was a rookie with the San Francisco Giants. The year was 2003.

Jerome Williams
Nine years later, getting the call to start from the Angels, Williams shut down the Twins on three hits, getting the Angels a much-needed, 4-0 victory.

Along the way between whitewashes, Williams has toiled in the minors, along with short stints with the Cubs and Nationals. Back in the AL and on the West coast, Williams has started four times for the Angels, compiling a 2-1 record with a 3.55 ERA.

In Tuesday's win, Williams didn't allow a hit after the third inning, setting down 17 Twins in a row before allowing a walk to Denard Span with two outs in the ninth. Span, the only Minnesotan to reach second base safely, did so on fielder's indifference before Williams got Alexi Casilla on strikes to end the game. Williams got all three outs in the ninth on Ks, fanning six overall, throwing 75 of 109 pitches for strikes.

Currently mired in last place in the AL West with a 9-15 record, the Angels will go for the series sweep of the 6-17 Twins on Wednesday.

National League

As standard bearers for the National League, the World Series champion Cardinals have represented well, compiling a 14-8 record through April and winning their first game of May with a 10-7 victory over the visiting Pirates.

Matt Holliday
St. Louis sits alone atop the Central division with a 3 1/2 game lead, after the Reds were rained out and the Brewers dropped a 2-0 decision at San Diego.

The Cards have picked it up right where they left off last October, despite the departure of Albert Pujols and world-class manager Tony LaRussa. Mike Matheny has guided St. Louis to a strong start, and Matt Holliday, who went 3-for-5 in Tuesday's contest, has helped pick up the slack.

Holliday singled twice, socked his fifth home run of the season, stole a base, scored twice, and drove in two runs as the Cardinals opened their three-game series with Pittsburgh with a win. St. Louis has taken six of seven series thus far, a 2-games-to-1 defeat at Chicago their only blemish.

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