Monday, September 28, 2009
Yankees Clinch; Quentin Halts Tigers; Street Saves Rockies
Players of the Day for Sunday, September 27, 2009 American League With the AL Central still being contested, the Tigers and Twins have to win as many games as they can to capture the flag. On Sunday, both teams lost, keeping Detroit 2 games ahead with a four-game Minnesota at Detroit series beginning Monday. While the Twins fell victim to the Royals' Zack Greinke (7 innings, 1 earned run), the Tiger pitching staff was feeling the wrath of Carlos Quentin, who singled home a run with a double in the 1st, then put the game away with his 19th homer of the season, a three-run shot which led to an easy, 8-4 victory for the spoiler White Sox. Quentin missed all of June and most of July, but he's had a productive second half. After driving in 100 runs in 2008, he's got 53 RBI this season, though he's played in just 95 games. The White Sox have been eliminated from the playoffs, but aren't done with the Tigers just yet. They travel to Detroit for the final series of the season, three games on October 2, 3 and 4. National League St. Louis clinched the NL Central on Saturday, but Sunday it was back to work for the Rockies at Coors Field, finishing up the three-game series with the Cardinals. After Albert Pujols gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead in the 3rd inning with a bases-loaded double, the Rockies re-took the lead with a pair of runs in the 5th and turned the ball over to their capable bullpen. After Randy Flores, Matt Belisle and Matt Daley held the Cardinals hitless through the 6th and 7th, closer Huston Street was called on for the 2-inning save. Pitching the 8th and 9th, Street allowed two hits and a walk, but managed to preserve the 4-3 Colorado win with his 34th save of the season. With that, the Rockies maintained their 2 1/2-game edge over Atlanta in the wild card race. The Rockies will be tested the final six games of the season. They host Milwaukee for three games beginning Tuesday, and play at Los Angeles October 2, 3, and 4. The Braves, meanwhile, have it a little easier, with all of their games at home. They host Florida for three beginning Monday and then close out the season with four games against the Nationals. NOTES: The NY Yankees swept their three-game series with Boston, winning on Sunday by a 4-2 score, clinching the AL East pennant while becoming the first - and only - team to register 100 wins. They will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs and, if they reach the World Series, they will be the home team. Next up in the clinching department are the Dodgers, Angels and Phillies, whose magic numbers are 1, 2, and 3, respectively.