Thursday, May 10, 2012

Matt Joyce Homers to Put Rays into First; Ike Davis Helps Mets Sweep Phillies

Players of the Day for Wednesday, May 9, 2012

American League

Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce experienced exhilaration and pain on one swing, belting a three-run, ninth inning home run off Yankee closer David Robertson, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 game winner, evening the three game series in the Bronx at a game apiece.

Matt Joyce
Joyce delivered a line shot to the right field stands, but twisted his left ankle on the swing, falling over home plate before getting up to limp around the bases. The pain was evident on his face, and his teammates treated him with kid gloves as he made his triumphant return to the dugout.

After taping up the ankle while on the bench, Joyce returned to the outfield for the bottom of the ninth, switching from left to right, where he watched Fernando Rodney pick up his second win of the season with two innings of relief. Jeff Neimann turned in seven solid innings for the Rays, allowing only a run in the first, when Robbie Cano doubled home Derek Jeter from first.

The blown save was the first for Robertson, in his second closer appearance since replacing injured Mariano Rivera.

With the win - and Baltimore's rainout with Texas - the Rays took sole possession of first place in the AL East by 1/2 game. The Blue Jays are three back, the Yanks, 3 1/2 behind with the Red Sox mired in last place, 7 1/2 out.

National League

Ike Davis
Back in 1969, when they captured the World Series, the Mets were called "the Amazing Mets," or, simply, "the Amazin's." The current crop of New Yorkers has the kind of chemistry that could rekindle the kind of fan attention that made the Big Apple crazy back in the day.

Completing a sweep of reigning NL East champion Philadelphia with a 10-6 win, the Mets find themselves in the thick of the division battle, 1/2 game back of Washington and Atlanta, who share the lead, though the Nationals hold a slim .006 percentage edge.

It was the first sweep in Philadelphia by the Mets of a three-game series since June of 2006, the unlikely star, first baseman Ike Davis and his .167 batting average. Davis blasted a three-run homer in the 8th inning that broke open a contentious ball game, after singling and scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh. He finished 2-for-4, raising his batting average 12 points, to .179. The breakout homer could mark the low point for Davis, who batted .264 in 2010, and hit .303 in an injury-shortened 2011.

The Mets came from behind in each of the three games, taking advantage of the Phillies' struggling relief staff, sending them into last place in the division, five games out.

No comments: