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Published: Mon, September 21, 2015
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Cardinals are first team in Major League Baseball to clinch playoff spot

Cardinals are first team in Major League Baseball to clinch playoff spot

The Cardinals dropped three of four to last-place Cincinnati over the weekend and now begin a series against the NL Central's other subpar club in Milwaukee. The Cardinals have Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.02 ERA) on the mound to face Jon Lester (10-10, 3.38) of the Cubs.

Maddon was ejected in the ninth inning Saturday along with reliever Hector Rondon after his pitch hit Greg Garcia, who was the third Cardinal to be struck on the day.

The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry continues to gather intrigue. St. Louis has the best record in the majors at 92-56 and will play in the postseason for the fifth straight year. The Pirates are also 20-7 in their last 27 Sunday games.

The Cubs got out to a 5-1 lead thanks to home runs from Bryant and Jorge Soler, and bullpen day was going smoothly. Matt Carpenter homered against reliever Zac Rosscup. Bellino had warned both teams after pinch-hitter Matt Holliday was hit on the helmet by a fastball from Cubs starter Dan Haren in the fifth. Second baseman Kolten Wong was struck by Trevor Cahill in the sixth inning, and he was hit again by Fernando Rodney in the eighth.

The Cubs aren't in the playoffs just yet, but do look shrink that magic number and go for the sweep of the rival Cardinals tomorrow against the Cubs. "How they handle theirs is their business". The Cubs are red hot right now. He's won three straight starts and has a 2.33 ERA since the start of August. The Pirates faced the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.

Remember, if two teams end up tied for the Wild Card, the head-to-head results determine home field. Could he want to fire up an already excited Cubs fan base?

Starlin Castro rounds the bases after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning on Friday
Cardinals are first team in Major League Baseball to clinch playoff spot

Chris Davis went 3-for-4 and scored the game-winning run while Wei-Yin Chen pitched seven strong innings to lead Baltimore past Tampa Bay.

"When his name has been called, he's been ready", Maddon said. "I really can't describe it", Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said about the feelings in the locker room. "I get all that". "It's just part of the business". "We've had some significant steps forward and times where we've just had to pause until more healing happens", Matheny said.... Take care of what we have to do.

The NL Central is baseball's best division and with two weeks left in the season things are getting heated.

Now it will be interesting to see what October baseball brings to the Chicago Cubs.

 

In that time, the Cardinals have also won four National League pennants (2004, 2006, 2011, 2013) and two World Series championships (2006, 2011). They are sending a message to the Cardinals that they need to take the Cubs seriously.

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