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Despite Clinching AL Central, Guardians Mindset Has Not Changed
After clinching a trip to the playoffs or wrapping up your lead in a division race, it can be pretty easy to let the foot off the gas and be content with just getting by in the last few games of the season before hitting the start of the playoffs.
For these young Guardians, that is the complete opposite of how they are approaching the last week or so of the season.
Just three days removed from clinching both a trip to the playoffs and a division championship, the magic continued as shortstop Amed Rosario hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning agaist the Tampa Bay Rays to secure their eighth win in their last 10 games.
After the walk-off, Rosario was asked about the teams mindset knowing they've already clinched a spot in the playoffs.
"We're just going to put our heads down. We don't decrease intensity. They are a good team as well, but the guys are just going to keep grinding and doing their best".
As for manager Terry Francona and his plan on how to manage the next week, they plan to rest a few guys here and there, but again, overall the mindset does not change and they are all going to continue to compete.
"I think they like to play baseball. We'll continue to maybe sit a guy or two here and there, but they'll compete."
I've said it before and I will say it again, this team gives special vibes, 2016-esque vibes.
No matter who their opponent is, they are set to play every single game in the first round of the playoffs at home at Progressive Field.
If you have a solid starting rotation and bullpen when it comes to pitching, you have a shot in the playoffs.
The Guardians may not have the big-time bats some of these other postseason teams have, but they are scrappy and they find a way to score runs when they need to. Again, they are entering postseason play this year on nothing but house-money.
While it would be nice to make some noise, whatever happens will happen. As long as they enter the playoffs with this same mindset they have had all season long, I think they are in fact ready to make some noise and surprise some people next weekend.
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