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Cardinals vs. Cubs – Game Recap – September 22, 2019

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CHICAGO — Paul Goldschmidt and the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated the franchise’s first postseason berth in four years with a champagne toast in the visitor’s clubhouse.

It was another sweet finish.

Goldschmidt hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Cardinals clinched a playoff spot by rallying past the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday for their first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field in almost a century.

“Just relentless on our guys’ part,” manager Mike Shildt said. “That’s the way we play baseball. That’s the way we compete.”

NL Central-leading St. Louis qualified for October for the first time it won the division in 2015. It also stayed three games ahead of Milwaukee.

It was the fifth consecutive win for the Cardinals, who came back for a 9-8 victory Saturday on consecutive homers by Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

This time, Chicago manager Joe Maddon sent a dominant Yu Darvish (6-8) back to the mound to go for his first complete game since 2014. But the result was the same in the Cubs’ fifth consecutive one-run loss and sixth straight overall.

“If you just play back the tape it’s almost unbelievable that it turned out this way,” Maddon said.

Pinch hitter Jose Martinez sparked the winning rally with a leadoff triple that glanced off the glove of diving center fielder Albert Almora Jr.

“It was hit hard and it went over my head and I missed it,” Almora said. “That’s it.”

Dexter Fowler followed with a sacrifice fly, tying it at 2. After rookie Tommy Edman singled and stole second, Goldschmidt hit a grounder down the third-base line to put the Cardinals in front for good in the Cubs’ rainy home finale.

“I swung and missed a couple times at some pitches in the middle,” Goldschmidt said. “Luckily, I was able to hit that last one down the line.”

Miles Mikolas pitched 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball and Tyler Webb (2-1) got the last out of the eighth for the win. Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Nicholas Castellanos hit his career-high 27th homer for Chicago (82-74), which dropped four games back of the Brewers for the second NL wild card. The Cubs finished with a 51-30 home record after losing their last six games of the year at Wrigley.

It was the first four-game series sweep for St. Louis (89-67) at Chicago’s famed ballpark since May 1921.

“It kind of seems that we’ve got the magic going,” Edman said. “At any point, we know we’re not out of it.”

Castellanos also scored the first run of the game when he scampered home on Yadier Molina’s passed ball in the first. But DeJong tied it with his 29th homer, a massive drive to Waveland Avenue in the third.

It was still tied when Castellanos led off the sixth with a drive to center for his 16th homer in 49 games since he was acquired in a July 31 trade with Detroit.

The Cubs were without Kris Bryant for most of the day after the slugger sprained his right ankle trying to beat out a double play in the third. X-rays taken at the ballpark were negative.

ONE SWEET TUNE

Gary Pressy threw out a ceremonial first pitch before his 2,687th and final game as the organist at Wrigley. He also led the crowd in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch.

Pressy is retiring after beginning his career at Wrigley in 1986.

ABOUT THE NUMBERS

The announced attendance was 38,606, bringing the season total at Wrigley to 3,094,865. The Cubs’ attendance last year was 3,181,089, but that included a crowd of 38,450 for the Cubs’ NL Central tiebreaker loss to the Brewers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: An MRI on Kolten Wong‘s ailing left hamstring showed a Grade 2 strain. The infielder is hoping to return during the Cardinals’ last series of the season against Chicago in St. Louis. “I’m hoping to give this enough time where it definitely won’t hinder me going on,” he said.

Cubs: SS Javier Baez could return to the field Tuesday at Pittsburgh for the first time since he broke his left thumb. He struck out as a pinch hitter Saturday in his first plate appearance since the injury. “The biggest thing is just closing his glove on defense,” Maddon said. “So if he’s able to do that and he’s making great progress you may see him.”

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (13-9, 3.83 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Arizona on Monday night. Wainwright is 4-0 in September, allowing one earned run in 27 innings. LHP Alex Young (7-4, 3.27 ERA) pitches for the Diamondbacks.

Cubs: Following an off day, Chicago begins a three-game set at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. The team hasn’t announced its starting pitchers for the series. RHP Mitch Keller (1-5, 7.74 ERA) pitches for the Pirates in the opener.

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Yankees to start Masahiro Tanaka vs. Astros’ Zack Greinke in Game 4 after postponement

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be 8:08 p.m. ET Thursday. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

“It gives everybody a day off and an opportunity to collect ourselves,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “It changes our pitching a little bit; how beneficial is probably easier to answer after I see how guys perform and how the pitching plays out.”

The Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — have announced they will go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest. He blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday, throwing just 68 pitches during a 7-0 win.

The Astros will counter with Zack Greinke, also on regular rest. The 2009 Cy Young Award winner, who was acquired from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline, has struggled through two starts for the Astros this postseason, including the Game 1 loss to the Yankees in which he allowed two homers and three runs in six innings.

In Game 5, the Yankees likely will start James Paxton against the Astros’ Justin Verlander.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

Having Wednesday off will be welcome for New York after manager Aaron Boone used five relievers to cover 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Astros. Starter Luis Severino threw 36 pitches in the first inning and was pulled in the fifth. Boone deployed key arms Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton in the loss, although none threw more than 11 pitches.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday’s matchup is the first postseason game to be postponed since Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and the Chicago Cubs in 2017, and the first LCS game to be called off since Game 3 of the Baltimore OriolesKansas City Royals series in 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Astros, Yankees to play Game 4 of ALCS on Thursday after rainout

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be on Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

The move could affect pitching plans for both teams. The Astros could bring back Zack Greinke for Game 4 on regular rest, and the Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — could instead go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest.

Tanaka blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday while throwing just 68 pitches to get through the Houston lineup exactly two times.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

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Joe Maddon agrees to be new manager of Los Angeles Angels

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The Los Angeles Angels have reached an agreement with Joe Maddon to make him their next manager, the team announced Wednesday.

A source told ESPN that Maddon is expected to receive a three-year contract in the $12 million to $15 million range.

Maddon, 65, is returning to the Angels organization after spending five seasons with the Chicago Cubs and leading the franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years in 2016.

He had been linked to the Angels job ever since the team fired Brad Ausmus on Sept. 30, a day after Maddon and the Cubs announced they were parting ways.

The Angels finished 72-90 during Ausmus’ only season as manager.

Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels’ organization, the last six as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach from 2000 to 2005. Prior to joining the Cubs, he served nine years as Tampa Bay Rays manager, leading that team to its only World Series appearance in 2008.

Maddon signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season, and the team finished above .500 in each of his five seasons. His .582 winning percentage ranks second all time in franchise history, behind only Frank Chance (768-389, .664, from 1905 to ’12).

In 2016, Maddon guided Chicago to 103 regular-season wins and then a long-awaited World Series title that postseason. He was credited with changing the culture and creating a loose atmosphere for his players during a pressure-filled time when they were picked by many to win it all.

Maddon inherits a franchise in turmoil following an Outside the Lines report that team employees allegedly were aware of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office. The Angels could face significant sanctions from Major League Baseball if it finds the allegations were true.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.



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