Cubs Game Notes For Thursday @ St. Louis

Russell after his three-run homer in Wednesday's seventh
Russell after his three-run homer in Wednesday's seventh

30 September, 2017

The Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinal 5-1, clinching the National League Central Division for the second consecutive season.

Thursday is the season-series finale between the Cubs and Cardinals. They trailed the Brewers by 4.5 games at the All Star break, but they have the best record in the NL since said break and take some momentum into the playoffs. It has been that kind of year.

The suspense and intrigue extended to the regular season's final days, somehow fitting for a Cubs team that never let its fans relax but now should make every other playoff team nervous. They won their division anyway, something the last seven World Series champions couldn't accomplish.

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Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland each added solo home runs, and Rick Porcello (11-17) tossed 5 2/3 innings of five-run ball for the Red Sox. He's one of the best teammates and one of the best people I've ever got to play with. He was knocked around for eight earned runs on six hits with one strikeout and two walks in only two-thirds of an inning in an 11-6 loss at the Pirates his last start, watching his ERA to spike upward by a considerable margin from 3.07 before the game started. "Here's to one h- of a (expletive) career", Lester said while toasting his buddy.

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo is hit by a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in St. Louis.

As for Russell, he coped with a slump and a publicized divorce filing before plantar fasciitis sidelined him for six weeks until his return September 16.

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Staked to a 1-0 lead when a Paul DeJong single drove in Jedd Gyorko from second, Wacha kept the celebration in check-holding the Cubs to just two hits while striking out 8 batters on only 60 pitches.

Lynn then made it to third on Tommy Pham's two-out single to right center and Pham stole second to give Dexter Fowler a chance at the go-ahead RBIs in a 1-0 game.

"We're not taking anything for granted". After checking him, he said everything was OK and he was ready to go and he just needed a second. 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.

Rizzo chucked the bat before walking slowly to first base.

"It definitely was on goal", Pham told reporters.

Washington manager Dusty Baker said Sunday the team was still trying to decide whether to reinstate Harper from the disabled list Monday, but he spent much of the day receiving treatment.

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