Monday, September 2, 2013

Astros' Brett Oberholtzer Tosses 4-Hit Shutout over Mariners; Michael Cuddyer Leads Rockies Past Reds with 4-for-4 Effort

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 1, 2012

American League

A tip of the cap to Houston's Brett Oberholtzer, who threw a four-hit shotout in a 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners Sunday afternoon.

Brett Oberholtzer
A rookie, Oberholtzer came out of the bullpen at the end of July to assume a position in the Astros' starting rotation and has responed with a 4-1 mark.

Against Seattle, Oberholtzer walked one and struck out five for his first major league complete game and shutout, items that are becoming rarities in the current age of specialization. He threw 83 of 113 pitches for strikes and had first-pitch strikes on 26 of the 32 batters he faced.

Houston, the major league's worst team at 45-91, avoided being swept by the Mariners, coughing up the series three games to one.

Elsewhere, the A's handed the rays their fourth straight loss, sweeping their three-game series with a 5-1 victory in the finale. That leaves the A's one game behind Texas in the AL West and 2 1/2 in front of the Rays in the wild card competition. Tampa Bay leads Baltimore and Cleveland by three, with the Yankees another 1/2 game out.

National League

Better put the Reds' plans for the post-season on hold for a while longer.

Cuddyer: 4-4, 3RBI
Michael Cuddyer and the Rockies made sure the Reds know they have to keep on winning in order to earn a wild card spot or possibly win the NL Central, topping them 7-4, in Denver, Sunday afternoon, taking the series, two games to one.

Cuddyer drove in three runs - one each, in the first, fifth and seventh innings with a pair of doubles and his 17th home run of the season. He also added a single to go 4-for-4 and stole a base.

While the Reds are still six games clear of Arizona for the second wild card and 3 1/2 behind the Pirates and Cardinals in the Central division, the annual of professional baseball are rife with stories of September swoons, though the Reds have maintained a winning attitude thus far.

The Rockies were long ago eliminated from the post-season landscape, though Cuddyer finds himself in a tight battle for the NL batting title. His .328 average is third in the league, behind Atlanta's Chris Johnson (.333) and the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (.329).

Today's Trivia: 1998-1999 was the last time a National Leaguer win back-to-back batting titles. Who was it? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Tony Gwynn won eight NL batting titles, Wade Boggs won five in the AL.

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