Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rangers Hammer Astros, 16-5, AJ Pierzynski 4-for-5; Nate Schierholtz Homers Twice as Cubs Skewer Nationals, 11-1

Players of the Day for Monday, August 19, 2013

American League

A.J. Pierzynski
Texas retained its slim 1/2 game lead over the A's in the NL West, pounding the helpless Astros, 16-5.

Texas catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, drove in four runs and scored twice, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run and a pair of singles.

The Rangers blew the game open early, scoring 11 runs in the third inning in the opener of the three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Game two gets underway Tuesday at 8:05 pm EDT.

National League

Who better to put an end to the disastrous season for the Washington Nationals than the Chicago Cubs?

3-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI
The perennial NL Central laggards ripped the Nats, 11-1, to open a three-game series at Wrigley Field, hounding Washington starter, Jordan Zimmermann for seven hits and eight earned runs over five innings.

Nate Schierholtz led the assault with a three-run, first-inning homer, a run-scoring double in the third and a two-run blast in the seventh inning, totaling six RBI in a 3-for-4 performance.

With Milwaukee's 8-5 loss to the Cardinals, the Cubs are 1/2 game out of last place in the Central, while the Nationals - although technically still in second place in the NL East - are 16 games behind the runaway Braves, 24-35 on the road with just 38 games left on the 2013 slate.

Maybe they should have let Steven Strasburg pitch down the stretch and in the playoffs last season. Teams don't make it into the post-season every year. Roster micro-management is rarely forgiven.

Today's Trivia: who led the American League in home runs more times, Harmon Killebrew or Mickey Mantle? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: While Roger Clemens led the AL in Ks five times, the Big Unit, Randy Johnson led the AL four straight years (1992-1995) with Boston and did the same in the NL with Arizona from 1999-2002, leading the league in strikeouts for his ninth and final time with the Diamondbacks in 2004. His best year was 2001, when Johnson fanned 372 batters, the most in the NL since Sandy Koufax whiffed 382 in 1965.

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