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Chicago Cubs Head to St. Louis, Time To Clinch The Playoffs

Cardinals' 2017 Season


Chicago Cubs Head to St. Louis, Time To Clinch The Playoffs

After a wild weekend in Milwaukee that saw the Chicago Cubs take three of four games from the Brewers, it is time to get back to work. Sunday afternoon, Jose Quintana pitched his best game of the year and did so at the perfect time. Quintana went the distance while allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out ten Brewers. They now hold a 5 1/2 game lead over the Brewers; with a win and a Brewers loss to win the Central Division, they clinch playoffs. The Chicago Cubs head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals in a four-game series. Cardinals find themselves six games back and would like to make a statement with a sweep of this hot Cubs team.

Game Previews

The Chicago Cubs head to St. Louis to begin the four-game series tonight at 7:15 pm CST at Busch Stadium. All games this series are night games. The Cubs are 11- 4 and have outscored the Cardinal by five runs this season. They have a very good chance to clinch playoffs by the end of this series.

Game 1-

Jon Lester’s (11-8) time to prove he is the Cubs number one starter come playoff time is now. Since August 1st, he’s 4-4 (8 games) with a 6.81 era while allowing opposing batters to bat .319. Lester is set to make his fifth start against the Cardinals this season, he has gone 1-1 with a 3.28 era.

Earlier this season, the Cards called up their top pitching prospect Luke Weaver (7-1)and with an injury to Adam Wainwright he has since joined the rotation. He owned every opportunity and has become the first Cardinals rookie to win seven straight starts. He’s a perfect 4-0 this month with a 1.52 era and a 29/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Game 2- 

Jake Arrieta (14-9) pitched in his first game since September 4th and had an encouraging start after coming off a hamstring injury. He took the no-decision after being limited to 71 pitches and leaving in a tie. Arrieta went five innings while allowing one run ( a solo home run to Domingo Santana) with two strikeouts.

Carlos Martinez (12-11) wants revenge when he steps to the mound on Tuesday after what happened during his last start against the Cubs. Martinez gave up 7 runs in 5 1/3 innings before being pulled.

Game 3-

After two straight starts without getting past the fifth inning, John Lackey (11-11) is not pleased about what happened and wants to get back out there as he is fitting for a rotation spot. This season, Lackey is 1-0 in three starts with a 3.97 earned run average against the Cards.

After struggling with shoulder issues, Michael Wacha (12-8) season didn’t look promising. Wednesday, Wacha will make his 30th start this which he hasn’t done since the 2015 season. Wacha has done well over the last month but will be challenged by the Cubs. He has pitched against them three times this season and have twice given up five or more runs.

Game 4-

Kyle Hendricks (7-5) has been the most consistent starter heading into the playoffs. He has eight consecutive quality starts heading into Thursday’s matchup with the Cardinals. Hendrick’s start will be is 100th career appearance since making it to the bigs. The right-hander last pitched the Cardinals on September 16 at Wrigley Field, he got the win after 7 2/3 innings of one-run baseball.

To close things out, Lance Lynn (11-8) gets the start after struggling last week against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lynn did not make it past the first inning after allowing eight runs on six hits. During his career, Lynn is 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA over 18 appearances (17 starts) against the Cubs. If the Cubs clinch, this will likely be Lynn’s last start as a Cardinal as his 3 years/$22 million dollar contract comes to an end.

Clinch Playoffs and Final Thoughts

Winning the division is the Cubs main focus as the Chicago Cubs head to St. Louis, so look for them to come out guns-blazing so they can get it out of the way and rest a bit during their final series. Cubs each the opportunity to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year and only the second in franchise history, they last did it from 1906-1908.


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Dexter Fowler is batting .244 with six runs, 2 home runs and five runs batted in against his former team.

Lastly, up and down the lineup this month especially over the last few week the Cubs have a lot of promise. Kyle Shwarber is batting .273 this month with five home runs and .636 slugging percentage. Kris Bryant as well continues to shine and proves the MVP caliber he possesses at the plate.