Tuesday, September 27, 2022

All three NL division leaders flex their muscles, plus another Browns star requests a trade

Happy Monday, all.

Let’s get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE NL DIVISION LEADERS: THE DODGERS, CARDINALS AND METS

The Padres made a ton of noise at the trade deadline, but the Dodgers let their play do the talking, earning an emphatic sweep of San Diego — capped off by a 4-0 shutout — in one of the most highly anticipated series of the season.

The Dodgers are now 8-2 against the Padres, so this was nothing new, writes MLB scribe Matt Snyder.

  • Snyder: “The Dodgers are… the superior team. No one paying attention would have said otherwise. With the series sweep, they open up a 15 1/2 game lead in the NL West. At 75-33, they have the best record in baseball. They are on pace to win a franchise-record 113 games. On top of all that, yes, they still totally own the Padres. Not that they should have needed to remind everyone, but the weekend series strongly drove the point home. “

The Cardinals also produced one of the most impressive sweeps of the season. St. Louis finished a three-game sweep of the Yankees with a dramatic 12-9 win Sunday and became the first team to sweep the Yankees in a series of at least three games this season. Their winning streak is up to a season-high seven games.

In all three games against New York, the hero wasn’t even on the roster two weeks ago.

  • On Friday, Paul DeJong — who was recalled from Triple-A on July 30 — hit a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning.
  • On Saturday, Jordan Montgomeryacquired from the Yankees(!) at the trade deadline — tossed five scoreless innings against his former team.
  • On Sunday, DeJong’s three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning provided St. Louis some needed breathing room.

As MLB guru Mike Axisa notes, the hot streak puts St. Louis atop the NL Central. Since the trade deadline, the Cardinals are 6-0 while the Brewers are 1-5. That’s turned a two-game deficit in the division into a two-game lead for the Cardinals, who host Milwaukee this coming weekend.

And finally, the Mets didn’t quite earn a sweep, but they got the next-best thing, winning four out of five games against the Braves and seeing Jacob deGrom take a perfect game into the sixth inning in just his second appearance this season. He was his typical, filthy self, Matt writes.

  • Snyder: “His average fourseam fastball was 99.1 miles per hour and he topped 100 on more than a handful of pitches. His top velocity reading? A cool 101.6. Of his 33 sliders, 20 induced swings and a whopping 18 were swing-and-misses. For those unaware, a 90 percent whiff rate on any pitch at the big-league level is unheard of. The league leaders are generally close to 70 percent.”

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mention

Kareem Hunt demands trade but Browns have no interest in granting it 🏈

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USATSI

For the second time this offseason, a Browns player has requested a trade. And for the second time this offseason, the Browns’ immediate answer is “no.”

Kareem Hunt is the latest Cleveland player to have his trade request shot down, several months after Baker Mayfield had his request initially denied. Cleveland eventually traded Mayfield to Carolina in July, but it’s unclear how Hunt’s situation will play out.

  • Hunt is entering the final year of a two-year extension and is due $6.25 million this season, 11th among running backs.
  • Hunt had skipped team drills in consecutive practices but returned Sunday.
  • Per our CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson, Hunt would like to get an extension or be traded; his preference is to stay in Cleveland.

Hunt, 27, resurrected his career in Cleveland. He signed in 2019 after being cut from the Chiefs in the wake of a video that showed him shoving and kicking a woman in the lobby of a hotel building. Hunt was suspended for eight games that season. In 2020, Hunt registered over 1,000 yards from scrimmage despite playing behind Pro-Bowl running back Nick Chubb. Injuries limited Hunt to just eight games last season.

An adept pass catcher out of the backfield, Hunt is a strong complement to Chubb, who doesn’t provide much in that area. Chubb is in the middle of a three-year, $36.6-million extension that included $20 million guaranteed.

Haaland scores brace in Manchester City debut, plus more notes from opening weekend ⚽

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Getty Images

On Friday, I told you all eyes this Premier League season would be on Erling Haaland, the star offseason signing by Manchester City. After one match, it’s so far, so good. Like, so, so good. Haaland scored twice — once in each half — as City topped West Ham 2-0 to open their title defense in style.

Haaland’s Premier League debut showed off all his strengths, writes soccer reporter James Benge.

  • Benge: “He is certainly offering them something they have not had before. Because how many forwards have there been who can blend the sheer size that Haaland offers with the sprinter’s burst that earned him his two goals at the London Stadium? By the standards of a City player, the new signing scarcely touched the ball today. … But then whilst his teammates are content to take the long way towards goal, Haaland pilots a wrecking ball through defenses that have been worn down by pass after pass. It worked to a tee.”

Manchester’s other Premier League club, Manchester United, didn’t get off to nearly as good of a start with a 2-1 home loss to Brighton. The underwhelming performance shows new manager Erik Ten Hag “has quite a mountain to climb to turn this ship around,” writes soccer expert Chuck Booth.

Elsewhere in the Premiership…

Joohyung Kim wins Wyndham Championship; Ashleigh Buhai wins AIG Women’s Open 🏌

PGA: Wyndham Championship - Final Round

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There have been a lot of young, impressive PGA Tour winners over the last 90 years. Only one has been younger than Joohyung Kim. Kim shot an unbelievable final-round 61 to win the Wyndham Championship by five strokes.

  • At 20 years, one month and 17 days old, Kim became the second-youngest PGA Tour winner over the last 90 years. Jordan Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Open days shy of his 20th birthday.
  • Kim is also the first player born in the 2000s to win a PGA Tour event.
  • Kim’s win gets him into the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin this week. He posted an absurd eight-under 27 on the front nine with six birdies and an eagle.

It was far from a straightforward path for Kim: He made quadruple bogey on his first hole of the tournament. But he methodically worked his way back and trailed 54-hole leader Sungjae Im by two before his Sunday surge. As golf expert Patrick McDonald notes, this is just the beginning for Kim.

Meanwhile, at iconic Muirfield, Ashleigh Buhai survived a four-hole sudden-death playoff against In Gee Chun to win the AIG Women’s Open.

  • It’s Buhai’s first career major.
  • Buhai led by five entering the final round and by three late but then triple-bogeyed the 15th hole.
  • In the playoff, Buhai finally put things away with a magnificent bunker shot that gave her a tap-in par; Chun made bogey.

What we’re watching Monday 📺

Blue Jays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. on MLB TV

🏀 Liberty at Wings, 8 p.m. on NBA TV

Yankees at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. on MLB Network

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