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The Closer: Forever Young…with RISP

9/9/2010

Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins is SCORCHING this season, entering Sunday 3rd in the majors, and 1st in the AL in batting average with RISP. And if that weren't clutch enough, after Sunday's heroics, Young is now 7-13 with RISP in the 9th inning or later this season, including a HR. The Chicago White Sox had the wrong approach when Young came to the plate in the 9th inning Sunday.

Delmon Young 2010 with RISP

Pittsburgh Pirates starter Paul Maholm also had himself a great day on Sunday, throwing his second career shutout and fourth career complete game. Amazingly, Maholm had just one strikeout, making it the first such outing in the majors this season and only the third since the start of 2008. In fact, only one pitcher has thrown a shutout with zero strikeouts since the start of this decade; Scott Erickson of the Baltimore Orioles shut out the Kansas City Royals on April 28, 2002 and didn't strike out a batter.

Joe Torre and Allen Craig

Tale of the Tape

The Twins weren't the only team to win in walk-off fashion on Sunday, but the St. Louis Cardinals had a much more unlikely hero in their 9th-inning comeback. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre celebrated his 70th birthday on Sunday, and thought he had a win until the other birthday boy, Allen Craig, got involved. Craig, who turned 26 on Sunday, entered the game with TWO career hits, and matched that total in the eight and ninth innings ALONE, including the game-tying hit in the 9th inning. Take a look at how the birthday boys match up.

Lastly, since we've reached the end of All-Star week, it seems that the American League has more issues than just losing the game. The American League used six starting pitchers in its 3-1 loss to the National League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.

David Price - The Tampa Bay Rays lost his next start, 9-5, Sunday to the Yankees (5 IP, 7 ER)

Andy Pettitte - The New York Yankees won his next start, 9-5, Sunday over the Rays (2.1 IP, 3 ER). However, he strained his groin and is likely headed to the disabled list.

Cliff Lee - The Texas Rangers lost his next start, 3-2 (11 innings), Saturday to the Red Sox (9 IP, 2 ER).

Justin Verlander - The Detroit Tigers lost his next start, 4-3, Saturday to the Indians (6 IP, 3 ER).

Jon Lester - The Boston Red Sox lost his next start, 4-2, Sunday to the Rangers (8 IP, 3 ER).

Phil Hughes - Hasn't pitched since ASG. He took the loss in the Game (0.1 IP, 2 ER).

Though the pitchers had varying degrees of success, the teams went 1-4 and the only win saw that hurler pitch ineffectively and get injured.