Cubs bind NL Central pretension with Cardinals’ detriment (Sep 16, 2016)

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CHICAGO (AP) Wrigley Field was dim and dull when a shrill hearten reverberated via a area surrounding a iconic ballpark.

While a Chicago Cubs motionless to check their party, their long-downtrodden fans were prepared to celebrate.

Chicago squandered a initial possibility to bind a NL Central pretension when pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett delivered a tiebreaking, two-run double in a seventh inning Thursday night, heading a Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-4 victory. But St. Louis’ 6-2 detriment during San Francisco finished a Cubs’ season-long prevalence of a division.

It seemed manager Joe Maddon and his players were prolonged left when a West Coast diversion wrapped up. But a final out in San Francisco overwhelmed off a jubilee in Chicago that enclosed honking horns and chanting in a streets.

”This is usually a initial step,” Maddon pronounced before a Cardinals lost. ”I mean, we have many incomparable round fish to grill in a skillet.”

The Cubs (93-53) were anticipating to start a 10-game homestand with a boozy jubilee of their initial multiplication pretension given 2008. But Keon Broxton homered and Orlando Arcia gathering in dual runs for Milwaukee, creation Chicago wait a small while longer.

Now a jubilee shifts to Friday, right after a Cubs’ afternoon start opposite a Brewers. It competence be a bit anticlimactic for Maddon and Co., though they took all a play out of a multiplication competition prolonged ago.

Led by a stellar pitching staff and MVP contenders Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, Chicago got off to a sizzling 25-6 start. After stumbling into a All-Star break, a Cubs pulled divided with a 22-6 Aug that incited a NL Central competition into a small formality.

But a multiplication pretension is not how this organisation of Cubs will be judged, not this year. After using roughshod over a rest of a majors for many of a season, they are perplexing to finish a franchise’s famous championship drought that goes all a approach behind to when a Cubs kick a Tigers in a 1908 World Series.

”We’ve got a lot forward of us. We unequivocally do,” boss of round operations Theo Epstein pronounced before a detriment to Milwaukee. ”It kind of all boils down to how we perform in October.”

It’s usually a fourth time a Cubs have reached a postseason in uninterrupted seasons. They got in as a furious label final year and done it to a NL Championship Series before they were swept by a New York Mets.

The offseason additions of Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward usually combined to a expectation for a Cubs’ constant fan base, and they have delivered adult until this point. But many of those same fans also were around for a final multiplication title, when a 2008 Cubs won 97 games and afterwards were swept by a Dodgers in a multiplication series.

”There’s no group I’d rather be going into Oct with,” Epstein said. ”But there are never favorites in Oct a same approach there are in a unchanging season.”

Jorge Soler strike a two-run homer for a Cubs, who had won 3 of four. Mike Montgomery pitched 6 plain innings and helped himself with a restraining singular in a fourth for his initial career hit.

Justin Grimm (1-1) transposed Montgomery in a seventh, and a Brewers put runners on initial and third with one out. Gennett, batting for Jimmy Nelson (8-14), blooped an 0-2 curveball into a dilemma in left for a 5-3 Milwaukee lead.

”I was usually perplexing to put a round in play,” Gennett said. ”He’s a man who throws a lot of curveballs so it’s critical not to get too large or try to do too much. It’s unequivocally just, get a good representation to strike and put it in play.”

The Cubs got one behind on Heyward’s RBI double in a eighth, though Tyler Thornburg threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Willson Contreras with runners during a corners to finish a inning.

Thornburg also worked a ninth for his 10th save in 15 chances.

”It was usually a flat-out good ballgame,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ”Obviously, with where they’re at, there was good appetite in a park tonight.”


Brewers: RHP Michael Blazek (right forearm strain) threw a unnatural game. Counsell would like to get Blazek into some games before a finish of a season, though pronounced there’s no rush. ”The idea with Mike is usually to go into a offseason healthy,” Counsell said.

Cubs: RHP Pedro Strop, who tweaked his right groin while operative his approach behind from arthroscopic left knee surgery, threw a bullpen and pronounced it went well. ”He’s removing close,” Maddon said. ”It’s not distant off.”


Maddon expected will rest several regulars when a array resumes Friday afternoon. RHP John Lackey (9-8, 3.35 ERA) is scheduled to face Brewers RHP Chase Anderson (8-11, 4.53).

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