Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tigers Clinch AL Central as Miguel Cabrera Chases Triple Crown; Kyle Kendrick Blanks Nats for 7, but Washington Still Wins NL East

Players of the Day for Monday, October 1, 2012

American League

With its 6-3 win over Kansas City, the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central and are heading to the playoffs again. As has been the case throughout the season, Miguel Cabrera, on the verge of becoming the first triple crown winner in the majors since Carl Yastrzemski completed the feat in 1967, was at the center of the action.

Cabrera went 4-for-5, socked his major league-best 44th home run, drove in a run, giving him 137 (also tops in the majors) and boosted his batting average to .329, edging the Angels' Mike Trout at .325 for the top spot in the batting average category.

Miguel Cabrera
The Tigers still have two games to play; Trout and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers could still spoil Cabrera's bid, though it seems likely that the Tigers' third baseman will end the season the leader in the three major categories.

The win by Detroit eliminated the White Sox from the post-season as Baltimore or the Yankees and either Oakland or Texas will take the two wild cards. Oakland topped the Rangers in the first game of their regular-season-ending three game series, 4-3. Any win by the Rangers gives them the AL West. The A's have to win both of the remaining games in order to take the division. There cannot be a tie.

Baltimore lost to the Rays, 5-3, but has wrapped up one of the two wild cards. The Yankees are in the driver's seat for the division, having blasted Boston, 10-2 and needs one more win to clinch at least a tie for the title. Baltimore would have to win both of their remaining games and have the Yankees lose one for a tie. Two Baltimore wins and two Yankee losses would give the O's the division.
Kyle Kendrick

National League

Washington wrapped up the first NL East division title since the franchise moved to D.C. from Montreal in 2005 when the Atlanta Braves lost to Pittsburgh, 2-1. The Nationals lost their second straight, losing to the Phillies, 2-0, as Kyle Kendrick held the Nats scoreless for seven innings on four hits and a walk, striking out five. Three Philadelphia relievers completed the whitewash.

The Cardinals clinched at least a tie for the second wild card with a 4-2 win over the Reds. The Dodgers, winners of six straight, beat the Giants, 3-2, and continue to trail St. Louis by two games, with only two games left.

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