Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marcus Stroman's 3-Hit Shutout Lifts Blue Jays over Cubs; Doug Fister Blanks Braves over Seven in Nationals' Win

Players of the Day for Monday, September 8, 2014

American League

Marcus Stroman twirled a three-hit shutout over the visiting Cubs Monday, as the Blue Jays tied the yankees for second place in the AL East with an 8-0 whitewash over Chicago.

Marcus Stroman
Stroman, a rookie out of Medford, NY, allowed just three harmless singles, struck out eight and didn't issue any walks. After giving up a leadoff single in the second inning - subsequently erased by a double play - Stroman didn't allow another hit until there were two out in the eighth, retiring 19 straight batters. A one-out single in the ninth was the only other hit.

At 10-5, Stroman appears to be one of the better young pitchers in the majors. With a 3.53 ERA, he's struck out 97 in 114 2/3 innings.

The Jays trail the Orioles - 4-0 winners at Boston Monday - by 10 games in the division and are five games behind Seattle for the second wild card spot, but it's a crowded bunch chasing Oakland (the #1 wild card) and Seattle. Detroit and Cleveland are ahead of the Blue Jays and the Yankees are tied with them. The remaining schedule is interesting for Toronto. Despite six games against the Orioles, they play four at New York, followed by hosting the Mariners for four straight, September 22-25.

The Jays host the Cubs in game two of their three-game series Tuesday at 7:07 pm EDT at the Rogers Center in Toronto.

National League

Doug Fister
The Washington Nationals are streaking toward the post-season, taking down second place Atlanta, 2-1, Monday, in the opener of a three-game series in the nation's capitol.

Doug Fister (13-6, 2.53) blanked the Braves over seven innings before taking a seat on the bench. Fister allowed just two hits and three walks, striking out three. He threw 71 of 104 pitches for strikes.

Ty Clippard and Matt Thornton combined to allow the Braves a run in the eighth inning, but Drew Storen made sure they would get no more, striking out the side in the ninth inning for his third save of the season. Storen, who was the Nationals' closer in 2011, appears poised to take back his former role heading toward the post-season, having earned saves in each of his last two outings.

The Nats now have an eight-game lead on the Braves in the NL East, their magic number down to 12. They are also one game behind the Dodgers for the best record in the league, which would give them home field throughout the playoffs.

Game two of the series is Tuesday, at 7:05 pm EDT.

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