Chicago Cubs set to take on the Pirates after Cardinals clinch N.L. Central


For the third consecutive season, the St. Louis Cardinals have clinched the N.L. Central setting up next Wednesday’s showdown between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.

Outfielder Austin Jackson helped keep Chicago’s winning streak alive by knocking in five runs while second baseman Starlin Castro launched a solo home run on top of making a fantastic defensive play.

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Southpaw Jon Lester allowed Cincinnati to score during the opening frame but settled down and worked through eight frames before the bullpen took things over.

Despite a bunch of key injuries to their N.L.C.S. roster, St. Louis continued to prove that they are, indeed, the team to beat in the National League by picking up their 100th win of the season.

They lost veteran ace, Adam Wainwright after he suffered a torn ACL near the end of April when attempting to make his way out of the batter’s box while visiting the Milwaukee Brewers.

If Wainwright had managed to stay healthy, there’s a strong chance he’d be competing for N.L. Cy Young honors along with Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke who appear to be neck-and-neck.

Arrieta is expected to kick-off Chicago’s final road trip when they return to Miller Park this Friday evening. He picked up his 21st win of the season and leads the league in that department.

This season has definitely been exciting, but the fun shouldn’t stop just yet. The potential match-up between Gerrit Cole and Arrieta on Oct. 7th should draw in millions of viewers following the American League Wild Card game that will take place the day before.

While we know who is going to take the mound in that one-game playoff, it’ll be interesting to see who will make the postseason roster as a handful of guys deserve a spot.

In my opinion, Tommy La Stella should get in over Javier Baez when it comes to infield help. Sure, Javier has more power behind his bat, but La Stell has made some solid defensive plays and came through with clutch hits since returning from the disabled list.

Only time will tell who will make the cut, regardless, it feels good knowing that the Chicago Cubs are inching closer to that World Series title.

Here’s more from around the league:

Cubbies Crib seeking staff writers, Cubs fans‘ – Cubbies Crib

Chicago Cubs: Should team consider Jeff Samardzija this winter?‘ – Cubbies Crib

Red Sox win 6th straight, beat Yankees 9-5 in 11 innings‘ – BoSox Injection

Mets’ Cespedes diagnosed with contusion after HBP‘ – Rising Apple

Mets’ Wilmer Flores is dealing with back spasms‘ – Rising Apple

Next: Chicago trounces Cincinnati behind Jackson