Friday, August 17, 2012

Chipper Jones Leads Braves in 6-0 Kris Medlen Shutout ; David Price Blanks Angels Over Seven

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 16, 2012

American League

The Tampa Bay Rays are back in the playoff picture in a big way following their 7-0 shutout over the fading LA Angels.

Price: 16-4
The Rays are tied with Baltimore for the two AL wild card spots. Both teams trail the Yankees by six games in the AL East and are a game better than Detroit and 1 1/2 up on Oakland in the wild card race.

The hottest team in the American League, the Rays got seven solid innings from 16-4 David Price, who allowed just three hits, struck out six and issued two walks.

The win was the first of a crucial four game series in Los Angeles. The Angels are third in the AL West, seven games behind the Rangers and are struggling to keep pace in the wild card hunt, 2 1/2 behind the current co-leaders.

Price passed the Angels' Jered Weaver for most wins in the majors with 16 and is second in ERA, at 2.39, behind Weaver (2.22) and ahead of Detroit's ace, Justin Verlander (2.46). His 159 strikeouts is good for fifth place amongst AL whiff leaders.

Game two of the series begins Friday night at 10:05 pm EDT.

Editor's Note: It would be nice if Yahoo could update their stats before noon Eastern time the following day. No wonder the stock has been stuck near the bottom of its range for the last four years. The site often carries outdated erroneous information and is bogged down with unnecessary features that hamper load times and overall performance.

National League

Chipper Jones
When it's bobble-head night and it's your head that's bob-bob-bobbling up and down in the stands, what are you supposed to do?

Maybe, do what Chipper Jones did in Thursday night's 6-0 win over the Padres, crack a pair of home runs and delight the crowd with three RBI as you continue your farewell season.

Kris Medlen
Jones, a certain first ballot hall of famer, has already announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2012 season, but he's playing like he has a couple more seasons left in his 39-year-old frame. He's batting .315 - keeping his career average of .304 in good shape - with 12 homers and 53 RBI in 76 games, plus he's helped the Braves into a clear lead for the #1 wild card spot, four games better than the Pirates and four games behind Washington in the battle for the NL East.

Jones will retire with some gaudy numbers - all with the Braves - at the conclusion of this season: his two homers on Thursday give him 2700 hits, 466 home runs and 1614 RBI, currently in the #31 spot all-time. By season's end he'll likely pass Harold Baines and Ernie Banks, moving into the 29th slot for career RBI, right behind another stellar third baseman, Tony Perez, who finished with 1652.

Not to be overlooked on Jones' big night at the plate was Kris Medlen's five-hit, complete game shutout, the first of his career, which consists mostly of appearances out of the bullpen. Medlen fanned six and didn't walk a batter, improving to 4-1 on the year.

The Braves took the final three games in their four-game series with the Padres, limiting San Diego to one run over 27 innings.

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