It’s time to hand out some props to the Houston Astros. Understandably overwhelmed in Dave Clark’s first game as interim skipper, the Astros showed some backbone against the Central
leaders last night. Backed by a solid performance from Carlos Lee at the plate and young Bud Norris on the mound, the Astros folded the Cards 3-0. Lee posted a 2 for 3 line that included 2 RBIs. Norris’ cool performance on the mound meant that the champagne in the visitors dugout would have to remain on ice until Colorado. It was great to see the Texas boys show their true grit. Here’s spit in your eye and hopefully a sign of great things to come in Houston.
More props go out to the Florida Marlins who came back to fend off the Phils in a must win
game that keeps the Fish in the Wild Card pond. Brett Carroll sealed the win with a walk off
Pinch Hit single. Nice job Brett. The Marlins picked up ground on the Rockies and now trail by only 4 1/2.
Will Venable was responsible for that Rockies loss as the impressive Padre right fielder put up a super hitting line of 2 for 4 with 4 big Ribs capped by a Home Run. He also scored twice and walked. The Padres beat up Colorado who now have to host those champagne thirsty Cardinals in a weekend set.
Not to be left behind, the Braves and the Giants also posted important W’s to keep the
heat on the cooling Rockies. Adam LaRoche led the Braves over the Mets by rapping out a 3 for 5 day and plating 2 Ribeyes in a 5-2 win that puts them 4 back in the Wild Card. Meanwhile Juan Uribe put up a great set of numbers in Arizona as the Giants knocked off the D-Backs by the same 5-2 score. Uribe homered in his 2 for 3 3RBI day that included a run and a walk. The Giants are also 4 back and host the Cubs this weekend.
In a game that has no impact whatsoever on the ’09 season, Joey Votto remains a hot Red. He posted a magnificent 4 for 5 game. Unfortunately he didn’t have much on the plate in the production category. He scored 3 times and had but one Rib. Still, a nice game for Joey who is having a super year at .314 with 22 HRs and 74 RBIs.
Over in the AL there were plenty of fireworks as well. Big Papi did his part to keep the Red
Sox hopeful of an AL East championship. With their 9-3 crowning of the KC Royals the Sox remain only 6 games back of NY and head to the Bronx for a huge weekend series. Ortiz’ 4 RBIs included his 25th Home Run of the year. Not bad for a guy who had major league struggles to start the ’09 campaign.
In Oakland it was Hammerin Hank Blalock that put up the big numbers for Texas. He also put 4 big Ribeyes on his plate and clubbed his 25th Home Run. Weird huh? Blalock scored twice as the Rangers nipped the A’s in a 9-8 slugfest.
In the games that decide the closest race in baseball we had some real top notch performers. In the Windy City the White Sox were trying their best not to say goodbye to the ’09 season. Jermaine Dye did all he good to fight back the surging Minnesota Twins. Dye’s game was huge. He was 3 for 4 with 2 Home Runs and 4 RBIs. Unfortunately for the Sox that just wasn’t enough as the Twins continued their drive toward the top of the AL Central with an 8-6 win. The Twins were powered by Nick Punto’s bat as he carded a 3 Rib outing on 2 for 3. Punto scored twice and walked to keep the Twins in the rear view mirror of the Tigers.
Which brings us to our Yesterday’s Hitter.
Finally healthy, Carlos Guillen was a big part of the offense that took apart Cleveland’s pitching and sent the Indians to their 10th straight loss (sorry Ted)…. their season high. Carlos belted 2 Home Runs, one from each side of the plate. His 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored were a big chunk of the 11-3 route. It’s a real good sign for Jim Leyland that Carlos is back to his switch hitting ways. The Tigers will needed all the muscle they can muster to hold off the Twins. Way to go Carlos, You are Yesterday’s Hitter!
|Avg. HR RBI Runs|
|.246 11 38 31|
Geez, it seems like whenever we highlight somebody here at MLBlogs they tend to go on a tear for a few days. Like Matt Wieters. Wow! One of many game winners yesterday that continue to build the excitement toward the certain drama we’ll see in the post season.
Matt gets a little taste of the walk off mania.
Speaking of walk offs. How about the controversy in Fenway? The topsy turvy game in Boston looked good, then bad, then good, then bad.. no matter which team you were rooting for. Scioscia and his boys were crying spilled milk over the balls and strikes and neglected to get the outs they needed. Result? Alex Gonzalez hits the little game winning blooper in the bottom of the 9th. On paper Alex might be a consideration for YH. I mean, the line looks good; 2-3 3RBI and a walk off hit. But, when you see the hit.. you’re like.. nawww! : )
See what I mean.. that’s kinda ugly.. but, then again.. sure was pretty : )
Across the way in the AL East the Yankees were dealing with the loss of their Field General; Jorge Posada. No worries guys. Completely shut down on offense for 7 innings, the Bronx Boys came roaring back on Hideki Matsui’s 2 run bomb to tie it and “Posada Replacement” Francisco Cervelli’s game winning hit in the 9th!
He doesn’t look too excited does he? You’d think he was just named YH or something ; )
Naww Frankie.. ya gotta do more than that. I mean Everth Cabrera basically did the same as you and he had 3 times your hits, going 3 for 6 to your 1 for 1. He also ruined the slim chance that Justin Upton’s perfect game (5 for 5) might get him in the mix. Unfortunately, Justin’s 5 hit game produced exactly One Rib. Slim Pickings and probably how he stays so thin. Beef up boy!
Did I say perfect? I love perfect lines for hitters. Two more for you. Joey Votto had the proverbial Vin Scully line. 2-2, 2walks, 2 runs (including the game winner). Again, pretty thin on production. Good game though. Sad thing is almost nobody’s watching : (
On a bigger stage, in fact THE biggest crowd in daytime history at Dodger Stadium, it was Manny’s Bobblehead Day. Trouble was Manny and a host of regulars took the day off. Not Ronnie Belliard who jumped (that’s his jump… chuckle) at the opportunity and proved he is a top calibre pick up for LA. Ronnie was responsible, in one way or another, for each run the Dodgers scored. He was 3-3 with 1RBI and 2 runs scored in the 3-1 LA win, keeping them 5 games above the Rockies.
Which takes us to the front runners in yesterday’s action.
Cody Ross put together a big game to keep the Marlins in the hunt for at least the weekend. Cody’s 3-4 2RBI day extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The Best in the NL.
With the Giants finally falling, the Marlins are now only one game back of 2nd in the Wild Card. Good news for Florida; they play the Reds. Giants play LA. Bad news for Florida; Rockies play the D-Backs. Could be over this weekend.
One team that is definitely still in it… and chomping at the bit for this coming weekend’s action… the Minnesota Twins. They are on a 6 game roll and have Detroit coming to town on Friday!
Michael Cuddyer was a big part of the win yesterday that kept the fires stoked for the Twinkies. Tasked with replacing the offensive firepower normally provided by Justin Morneau, Cuddyer came through with a very productive 3-4 day that included his 26th HR and 3RBIs. He also scored twice as the Twins rolled along 7-3. Will they keep up the suspense this weekend? Let’s hope so.
Yesterday’s Hitter – Michael Cuddyer
This Rangers team is not going away. Locked in a Wild Card feud with the Red Sox, and on the road against the winningest team in baseball, the Rangers came through again. 2nd Baseman Ian Kinsler is having a standout year and yesterday he showcased his talent in the rubber game of their Bronx series. Kinsler smacked a 3 Run Jack to put Texas in front and then capped the scoring with a Solo Jack later in the game, his 27th and 28th HRs of the year. Kinsler’s average is down but his production is big! Watch Here!
Honorable Mention: Matt Kemp, Joey Votto