Jon Jay absent as Cubs take on Cardinals

Pinch hitter Randal Grichuk struck out and then so Matt Carpenter for the third time as the Cardinals went into the sixth still down by one run and with lefthanded rookie Ryan Sherriff coming out of the bullpen. Michael Wacha stymied Cubs hitters while John Lackey dueled with Cardinals hitters nearly as effectively, but a breakthrough sixth plated five runs, and the Cubs clinched the NL Central for the second year in a row. The Cardinals have lost four of their last five, scoring two or fewer runs three times over that stretch. It appears Russell's leg kicks up into the nachos of the St. Louis Cardinals fan making a big mess. You pitch guys inside, sometimes they get hit. If one didn't smell like a beer after a couple of minutes in there, it was because he wasn't trying. It was Chicago's eighth champagne/beer celebration in the past three seasons, although this one came with its fair share of struggle.

"I would have said the same thing about the '27 Yankees: Bring 'em on", he said Thursday of a Nationals team that could wind up looking like the Ruth-and-Gehrig boys to the Cubs if the starting pitching isn't healthy and late-inning relief not sharp.

"Normally I don't do that", Russell said with a laugh.

"We've been in the playoffs, I would watch but that's because our season is over". Pirates starter Chad Kuhl (8-11) pitched five-plus innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk. So, I'll take the Dodgers in six. The Nationals already have clinched home field so the Cubs will play the first two games at Nationals Park before their first game at Wrigley Field on Monday.

Tommy La Stella also had a RBI double.

It was Wacha's third loss of the year to Chicago, which touched him for 19 runs over 22 innings.

"When you get to this position, you want to get it done as quickly as you can for that reason [rest]", Maddon said before the game. "It feels good, and we're in a good spot going into the postseason, where we're rolling". With the loss, St. Louis was officially eliminated from wild card contention, meaning that for the second year in a row the Cardinals won't qualify for the postseason.

The St Louis Cardinals have been knocked out of the Major League Baseball (MLB) wildcard race after a 2-1 defeat by the Chicago Cubs. Merely splitting the season series with the Cubs to this point would've been enough for the Cardinals to hold a lead over Colorado and Milwaukee for the second wild card.

"This is the first time I've had to stand up here and say (it's) not going to happen", Matheny said. "Our season is not over".

  • Julie Sanders