Cubs Rob Home Run to Eliminate Cardinals From Postseason Contention

Heading into the All-Star Break they were below.500 with a 43-45 record. And few teams can say they've gotten to do it while defeating a division rival at the same time. Thursday evening, the Cubs had one major goal after coming close to doing it the night before and that was to get the win.

The seasons of Lackey and Russell virtually mirrored the Cubs' mercurial year. Chicago stopped his streak of winning seven consecutive starts, the longest by any Cardinals rookie since Ted Wilks in 1944.

Cardinals: Jose Martinez, who is out with sprained left thumb, will attempt to take some swings Tuesday to see if he can return to action this week.

YANKEES 6, RAYS 1 Luis Severino cruised through his final postseason tuneup and Starlin Castro, Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks all homered during a four-run sixth inning, lifting NY over visiting Tampa Bay.

Quintana's only career start against the Reds came earlier this season when he allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) in five innings and picked up a victory on August 14.

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With due respect to Wacha's optimism, the numbers dictate decisive Cubs dominance of this rivalry.

"Not so fast", said the bottom half of the order. Delmonico followed with the home run to right field. Matt Bowman comes into pitch. Tommy Pham walked twice, while Paul DeJong was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for St. Louis. All five runs were charged to Wacha.

In 2016, Cubs starters collectively ranked fifth in FIP (3.77), third in strikeouts per nine innings (8.88) and 15th in walks per nine innings (3.05), according to FanGraphs. Now after that collective exhale it's onto the bigger task ahead for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs are 2017 NL Central champions. The last time they have done such a thing was the 2007 and 2008 season when Lou Pinella was the manager.

Their clinching of a postseason berth in St. Louis was their first since 1938 when they earned the right to advance to the World Series.

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Until the last fraction of the season, the Cardinals' playoff fate seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Probably three-fourths of the crowd was dressed in blue by the time St. Louis' Randal Grichuk flied out to center fielder Leonys Martin on the warning track for the final out. "He's had good success in this ballpark".

The 21-year-old Cardinals fan hopes his experience provides some comic relief during a tense time in the country.

Hendricks could be in line to start the Cubs' playoff opener, as the 27-year-old has been sharp of late.

"They're a good team", Jedd Gyorko said of the Cardinals' inability to match up with the Cubs this year. Although the D'backs took the season series 9-3, I'm going with the Rockies to advance to play the Dodgers, who they'll face in a 3-game series this weekend. Kyle Hendrick (7-5) will pitch in his final regular game of the season.

The Cubs clinched the National League Central on Wednesday, so Jay and the rest of the regulars will be given tonight's series finale off against right-hander Lance Lynn and the Cardinals.

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