Two-Minute Drill: Guardians Clinch AL Central, Dodgers Seal NL #1 Seed

Jonathan Grant | September 26th, 2022

1st Down: The Cleveland Guardians are headed to the Major League Baseball playoffs, clinching their spot in the field by sewing up the AL Central for the first time since 2018 by defeating the Rangers 10-4 in Texas and also getting a 4-1 loss for the White Sox at home to Detroit. The Guardians, winners of seven in a row currently, got five RBI’s, including a grand slam, on a 3-5 night from Steven Kwon while Aaron Civale got the ‘W’ on the mound after five solid innings. With the win, they are now 10 games clear of Chicago, who have lost six in a row, so it’s easy to see how they got where they are.

2nd Down: The Los Angeles Dodgers also sealed up a spot in the field: the top spot. The Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, leaders of the NL Central, 4-1 on Sunday to not only officially become the #1 NL seed but to also tie a club-record for single-season wins at 106. With the top seed in the NL comes the advantage of being on their home turf in both the NLDS and NLCS. They’re also closing in rapidly on taking the overall top seed, too, as they are 5.5 up on Houston with just nine games to go. They have all those chances to top, if not smash, the team’s previous high for season wins. But they also will be juggling the prospect of the playoffs and possibly resting players, so that will be a factor in that chase.

3rd Down: The United States are winners, once again, of the Presidents Cup, wrapping up the now-customary title on Sunday over the International team at Quail Hollow. Despite a valiant effort from the visitors, 8 ½ points out of a possible 12 was just too great for them to surmount as the Americans took a ninth straight trophy over their counterparts and the 10th out of 12 tries. Jordan Spieth (5-0) and Max Homa (4-0) finished the competition completely unblemished while five other Americans failed to lose a match in the four-day contest.

4th Down: For the fourth successive weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series saw a winner from outside of the playoff field as Tyler Reddick took the checkered flag at Texas on an extended evening on Sunday night. The #8 car was eliminated from the playoffs a week ago at Bristol in disappointing fashion, and the driver remains unsure of his future, but that didn’t stop him from coasting to a win at the 1.5 mile track to make it four non-playoff drivers going to victory lane in a row. Joey Logano, Justin Haley, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Briscoe completed the top five in what was a race full of attrition due to tire issues.

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