Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Raul Ibanez Delivers for Yankees; Mat Latos Stops Cards, but St. Louis Snags Wild Card

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 2, 2012

American League

Raul Ibanez got the Yankees one step closer to the AL East pennant, tying the game with Boston at 3-3 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, then delivering the game-winning, walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning for a 4-3 win over the Red Sox.

Ibanez came on as a pinch hitter in the ninth and stroked a two-run homer to right off Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey, tagging the reliever with his third blown save. Thanks got two aboard after two outs on consecutive walks to Francisco Cervelli and Curtis Granderson, setting up the heroic single to shallow left by Ibanez.

Raul Ibanez
The win left the Yankees one game better than the Orioles in the division with one game left to play. Baltimore slipped by Tampa Bay, 1-0, to remain close. Both teams are assured of a playoff spot; the team finishing second in the division getting of one of the two wild cards.

A Yankee loss and a Baltimore win would tie the division and force a one-game playoff on Thursday. All other scenarios would result in the Yankees winning the AL East pennant.

In the West, Oakland won their fifth straight overall and second straight over Texas, tying the Rangers for first place in the division with a 3-1 win.

The two teams meet Wednesday in Oakland to settle the division, the winner to take the West title, the loser, one of the two wild card spots. Game time is 3:35 pm EDT.

National League

Mat Latos
Despite a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, St. Louis wrapped up the second wild card slot as the Giants beat the Dodgers, 4-3, eliminating LA from the post-season.

The Cardinals complete the playoff picture in the National League, and will face Atlanta in a one-game playoff, the winner advancing to face one of the division winners.

Mat Latos improved to 14-4 for the Reds, allowing one run on four hits over five innings in the win over the Cardinals. A parade of four Cincinnati relievers completed the game, with Aroldis Chapman working the ninth for his 38th save.

Latos threw 54 of 78 pitches for strikes and walked one in his final tune-up before the playoffs.

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