MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi Cubs0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 030
St. Louis2 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 x 990
  W: J. Flaherty (11-8)   L: D. Holland (2-5)
12:15 PM PT1:15 PM MT2:15 PM CT3:15 PM ET15:15 ET19:15 GMT3:15 12:15 PM MST2:15 PM EST2:45 PM VEN23:15 UAE2:15 PM CT, September 29, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 47,212

Cubs try to play spoiler to Cards in season finale

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

  1. The Cardinals swept a four-game series from the Cubs in Chicago from Sept. 19-22 and will be attempting to win six straight against their longtime rivals for the first time since May 12-July 30, 2011. Chicago is 4-11 at Busch Stadium since the start of the 2018 season, its lowest winning percentage in any NL park over the last two years.
  2. The Cubs ended this season 51-30 (.630) at Wrigley Field, but are 31-47 (.397) on the road and could finish with a winning percentage above .600 at home and under .400 in away games for the first time in franchise history. Chicago hasn't lost 50 games on the road in a season since 2012 (23-58).
  3. St. Louis joined this year's Dodgers as the only NL teams in MLB history with 11 players with 10 or more homers in a season when Yadier Molina went deep Monday in Arizona. Three Cardinals (Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, Marcell Ozuna) have at least 29 homers in 2019; only once in franchise history has the team had three players with 30 or more homers (2004; Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen).
  4. Tommy Edman ranks second in the NL with a .347 average since Aug. 9 (min. 125 PA) and is 15-for-34 (.441) with 11 runs scored over an eight-game hitting streak. He became the third Cardinals rookie since 1983 with five straight multihit games during Wednesday's loss at Arizona (Paul DeJong, 2017; Chris Duncan, 2006).
  5. Kyle Schwarber is one home run away from becoming the first Cubs player since Aramis Ramirez in 2006 with 20 homers after the All-Star break. Schwarber is just a career .136 hitter at Busch Stadium, the lowest average by a non-pitcher in the park's history (min. 100 PA).
  6. Adam Wainwright, slated to start for St. Louis on Saturday, has won five consecutive starts and has not allowed an earned run in three straight outings at Busch Stadium. Wainwright has a 2.08 ERA at home this season and a 6.22 ERA on the road, the largest difference (road being greater) in the majors in 2019 (min. 150 IP).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/27/2019 thru 9/29/2019
(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

The St. Louis Cardinals will try to win the National League Central title in front of their home crowd Sunday afternoon. The Chicago Cubs will be looking toward next season.

Yes, these arch rivals will have dramatically different motivations when they square off for Game 162 at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals (90-71) have lost four consecutive games. But they still hold a one-game lead over the second-place Milwaukee Brewers (89-72), who lost the first two games of their three-game series at Colorado.

"We can be disappointed, which we are, about tonight," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters after Saturday night's 8-6 loss. "We laid it all out there. But, we can look up and realize that on the last day of the season, we control our own destiny. And you can't ask for anything more than that."

The division winner will face the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series. The runner-up will face the Washington Nationals in the wild-card game.

If the Cardinals and Brewers finish Sunday tied for first place, they will play the tiebreaker Monday in St. Louis.

Shildt was hoping to save right-hander Jack Flaherty (10-8, 2.85 ERA) to pitch the first postseason game, but he will start him Sunday instead.

Flaherty has a 0.97 ERA in five September starts after posting a 0.71 ERA in August. Opponents have hit .198, .145 and .122 against him in the last three months.

He is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in five starts against the Cubs this season and 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA in nine career games against them.

With an eye toward the playoffs, the Cardinals are likely to hold out second baseman Kolten Wong again due to his hamstring strain.

"Do I push it now and take a chance on blowing out and then being out for the real series that matters? Do I wait and be ready for the playoffs? It's a position nobody wants to be in, especially myself," Wong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I don't know where my hamstring is. I know it's better. But 100 percent? Probably not."

While the Cardinals look to play on, the Cubs are bracing for change. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein seems unlikely to bring manager Joe Maddon back, and he has promised roster change, as well.

"There's not a more confident group of individuals than there in this room," Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber told reporters recently. "Everyone is really confident in themselves and really confident in the guy next to them. I think that speaks for every player.

"Whatever happens, happens. Obviously it's a game, but it's also a business. We have confidence in each other, that's for sure."

Maddon played backups and prospects this weekend with most of his starters either resting or nursing injuries. Closer Craig Kimbrel is the latest veteran shut down.

In a sense, the Cubs are getting a head start on spring training 2020. Ian Happ hit three homers and drove home six runs in the first two games of this series after spending the bulk of this season in Triple-A Iowa.

With Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks done for the season, the Cubs will start lefty Derek Holland (2-4, 5.47) Sunday. He has allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings in three relief appearances against the Cardinals this season.

Holland has a 4.30 ERA in six career appearances against them, including one start.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 29, 2019

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