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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Twins win AL Central crown for first time since 2010

The Twins went into Wednesday night with a magic number of two and a four-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central. They weren’t in real danger of losing the thing, but it’s always better to clinch early and get a few days of rest for the regulars while being able to set the rotation for the divisional round.

Thanks to a Twins 5-1 (box score) win in Detroit and Indians 8-3 (box score) loss to the White Sox, the clinch has happened. The Twins are the American League Central champions for the first time since 2010. The Indians were heavy favorites to win the division when the season started, but the Twins nearly went wire to wire in the lead here. Starting April 20, the Twins were either tied or in first place the rest of the way, building a lead as big as 11 1/2 games.

It was certainly worrisome when the Indians erased said 11 1/2 game deficit by tying things up both on Aug. 9 and Aug. 11, but the Twins steadied and stayed mentally tough, going 27-13 down the stretch since then.

The win Wednesday was the Twins’ 98th of the season. They were 78-84 last season, so it’s been quite the turnaround here under the watch of first-year manager Rocco Baldelli.

Congratulations, and best wishes against the Yankees.

 

QLE Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:03 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, pennant race, twins

Friday, September 20, 2019

LEADING OFF: Braves set to clinch, Red Sox near elimination

POPPIN’

Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves are poised to break out the bubbly, with a magic number of one to clinch their second straight NL East title. They can celebrate when Mike Foltynewicz (7-5, 4.80 ERA) starts at SunTrust Park against San Francisco. A win by Atlanta or a loss by second-place Washington at Miami will seal it.

At 21, Acuña will be able to take part in a champagne toast. The star outfielder with 40 home runs wasn’t yet of legal age when the Braves won the division a year ago.

“They wouldn’t let me drink because I was a minor,” Acuña recalled, breaking into a big smile. “This year, it’s going to be different. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jose ramirez, lorenzo cain, pennant race, red sox

Thursday, September 19, 2019

MLB Postseason Picture: Astros clinch playoff berth with 100th win of season

The Houston Astros checked off two boxes with one win on Wednesday.

By defeating the Texas Rangers, 3-2, the Astros became the first team to reach 100 wins in MLB this season. More importantly, they guaranteed themselves a spot in the postseason.

It’s the third straight season Houston has reached the century mark in victories. It will also be their straight postseason appearance. Houston is the first American League team to wrap up a playoff spot and the third team overall, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves from the National League.

Now the Astros will aim to make it back-to-back-to-back AL West titles. They will enter a weekend matchup with the Los Angeles Angels with a magic number of two to clinch the division.

Another piece of the playoff picture falls into place.

 

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: al west, astros, pennant race, wins

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Braves clinch playoff spot behind Acuña Jr.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves celebrated another playoff berth with heavy hearts.

Ronald Acuña Jr. ignited the decisive four-run rally with the go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning, as the NL East leading Braves wrapped up a playoff berth with a 10-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday. The victory also eliminated the Phillies from winning the NL East.

But there was no celebrating in the postgame clubhouse, as the team remained concerned about utility man Charlie Culberson, who was struck directly on the right cheekbone by a 91 mph fastball in the seventh on the first pitch by Nationals reliever Fernando Rodney.

“He was good when he went to the hospital. I mean, he was alert and all of that stuff,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of Culberson, who was pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz with two on and no out in the seventh of a 1-1 game.

 

 

QLE Posted: September 15, 2019 at 12:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, charlie culberson, pennant race

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Counted out? Defying expectations would be nothing new for the Diamondbacks

NEW YORK – Torey Lovullo walked to the Citi Field mound Thursday while Mets fans celebrated a Juan Lagares grand slam that had all but ended this game. This was not a trip Lovullo planned to make in the third inning of a critical game, but the Diamondbacks, the hottest team in MLB entering the series, had just fallen behind by six runs.

He removed his starter, Alex Young, then watched another six-plus innings of uninspiring baseball in an 11-1 loss before finally escaping New York.

“This is a tough series. We came here feeling pretty good about ourselves and got socked in the face. Got our asses kicked,” Lovullo said. “Turn the page.”

Before the first pitch of this series had been thrown, the Diamondbacks had won 11 of 13. Now, after a four-game sweep, they are losers of five straight games.

Mind you, this declaration of competitive spirit would mean a lot more if the National League this season wasn’t so mired in mediocrity…..

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 11:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, nl wild card, pennant race

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The biggest roadblocks facing every MLB playoff contender down the stretch

With three weeks left in the season, the wild card races seem destined to come down to the final few games. The American League has three teams neck and neck for two spots with the defending champion Boston Red Sox hoping for a late surge.

The National League features seven teams competing for three spots, and the National League Central crown could be decided in the last week.

With so many teams in the race, here’s a peek into what could be the biggest roadblock for the teams that are hoping to play in October:

So, how threatening do we see these roadblocks?

 

QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, nl central, nl wild card, pennant race, roadblocks

 

 

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