Louis Cardinals plunk Anthony Rizzo in first at bat

Louis Cardinals plunk Anthony Rizzo in first at bat

Next Level: This game marked the first Cubs clinch via a victory since clinching with a win over the Cardinals in a Saturday home day game in 2008. Then Chicago center fielder Leonys Martin brought back a game tying home run by Paul DeJong in the bottom of the 11th to preserve the win.

Not only was the catch a spectacular grab, but it also served as a massive dagger to the Cardinals. The Arizona Diamondbacks have clinched home field advantage for the wild card game, and they'll face either the Colorado Rockies, the Brewers or Cardinals.

A year after winning their first World Series in 108 years, the Cubs punched their ticket to defend the championship in the place where they watched St. Louis party a few years ago. The Cardinals counter with righty Carlos Martinez (12-11, 3.63), who gave up seven runs to the Cubs in a start against them September 15. He is 4-4 with a 2.25 ERA in his last eight outings - all quality starts - and hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his 12 outings since coming off the disabled list July 24.

A pair of doubles by Javier Baez and the red-hot Jason Heyward scored another run, and Tommy La Stella capped the inning's scoring with yet another double.

During the second inning of the game, Chicago Cubs' shortstop player Russell, in an attempt to stop a foul ball, dove into the stand of the Busch Stadium where the match was being played.

Louis Cardinals plunk Anthony Rizzo in first at bat

"I haven't heard from the medical team yet and I don't know what's going on", St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. Davis, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, came through at the ideal time.

As he continues to undergo testing in the concussion protocol, All-Star catcher Yadier Molina again is out of the Cardinals' lineup. The Cubs return home to play the Cincinnati Reds for the final three games of the regular season while the Cardinals will host the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. Jon Jay went 2-for-4, while Addison Russell was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. John Lackey gave up one earned run and struck out three over six innings to pick up the win.

It's a bitter end to the 2017 year for the Cardinals, who remained on the peripheral all season. One teammate seems to think so. He made it look easier than it ought to be to get to the point where he is.

It was not the easiest ride to back-to-back division titles this season as the Cubs got off to a mediocre start and found themselves in the middle of the pack during a chunk of the year. "Couple all that with our bullpen, where we've got some guys that are kind of going on fumes".

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