Monday, September 14, 2015

Adrian Beltre Belts Two HR in Texas Victory; Zach Greinke Tosses Eight Scoreless as Dodgers Win

Players of the Day for Sunday, September 14, 2015

American League

Beltre: 2 HR, 5 RBI
Toronto helped itself to a larger lead in the AL East (now up by 3 1/2), taking three of four from the Yankees in New York over the weekend, but the Yanks rallied to avoid the sweep on Sunday with a 5-0 victory, but, those three prior losses have tightened up the wild card race considerably.

Texas downed Oakland, 12-4, staying 1 1/2 back of the Astros in the West, but now find themselves just four games behind the Yankees in the wild card, and one game ahead of Minnesota for the second wild card slot.

Adrian Beltre belted a pair of home runs in the win - a two-run and a three-run shot - tallying five RBI on the day and giving him 55 on the year. Beltre's sub-par stats may be a sign of him slowing down. He turned 36 in April of this year. His numbers suggest 2015 will be among the worst of his career, though he's been providing big at-bats for the Rangers recently.

Texas took the series against Oakland, two games to one, and open a pivotal, four-game series at home against the Astros starting Monday in Arlington. The series may go a long way toward determining not just the AL West winner, but also the wild card participants.

National League

Greinke: 17-3, 1.61 ERA
Continuing their run to the NL West championship, the LA Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3, though the final score is hardly indicative of the kind of game pitched by Dodger hurler, Zach Greinke.

Earning his third win in September, Grienke tossed eight innings of shutout ball on three hits, walking two and striking out eight. He needed just 93 pitches (59 thrown for strikes) before turning the ball over the Kenley Jansen for the ninth with a 4-0 lead. Jansen, in a non-save scenario, nearly mucked it up, walking Paul Goldschmidt and allowing a single by David Peralta, before surrendering a two-out home run to Jerrod Saltalamacchia, giving the D'Backs hope. Jansen did finally get the last out, and the win, leaving the Dodgers right where they were when the day started, 7 1/2 games better than the Giants in the division, albeit, with one less game to play.

With 20 games remaining in the regular season, LA is virtually assured of the division crown, and, with the way Greinke has been throwing, only he and Chicago's Jake Arrieta appear as solid candidates for the NL Cy Young award. Grinch leads the majors with a 1.61 ERA.

Greinke has won 12 of his last 14 starts, with one loss and one no-decision, boosting his record for the season to 17-3. Depending on when the Dodgers clinch the pennant and possible playoff scenarios, Greinke could squeeze in four starts, but most likely will get three, and a chance at winning 20 games.

The Dodgers took the series in Arizona, two games to one, and head home to begin a ten-game homestead, beginning with three against the Rockies, starting Monday.

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