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3
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
St. Louis0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 370
Chi Cubs1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 290
2
  W: T. Webb (2-1)   L: Y. Darvish (6-8)   S: A. Miller (6)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, September 22, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 38,606

Reeling Cubs try to avoid sweep at Cardinals' hands

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Cardinals and Cubs play one another seven times in their final 10 games, with four games at Wrigley Field this weekend followed by three in St. Louis to close the season. The Cubs are 6-0 against the Cardinals at Wrigley in 2019 -- their longest single-season home winning streak in the series since taking the first seven meetings in 2006.
  2. St. Louis leads the majors with a 2.83 ERA this month and has four shutouts -- no other team has more than two in September.
  3. Paul Goldschmidt has a team-high 16 RBI this month and leads all of baseball with 17 walks in September in 17 games. He had 15 walks in 50 games in June and July.
  4. Jack Flaherty, the scheduled starter for the opener, has a 1.05 ERA since the All-Star break, currently besting Bob Gibson's 1.19 second-half ERA in 1968 for the lowest in franchise history dating to the first All-Star Game in 1933 (min. 70 innings pitched after break).
  5. The Cubs counter with Kyle Hendricks, who has a 1.75 ERA at home. His 2.56 career ERA in 80 games at Wrigley Field trails only Lon Warneke's 2.48 ERA for the lowest at Wrigley since 1920 among pitchers that have made at least 60 starts there.
  6. Nicholas Castellanos hit his 56th double of the season Wednesday, and now has seven in his last six games to go with eight RBI and nine runs. He is the only Cub in the live-ball era to record at least seven doubles, eight RBI and nine runs in a six-game span, and joins Joey Votto from 2009 as the only NL players to do it in the divisional era.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/19/2019 thru 9/22/2019
(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

This is not what the Chicago Cubs had in mind.

Chicago (82-73) had a chance to push for a division title with a strong series against the St. Louis Cardinals (88-67) this weekend. Instead, the Cubs have lost the first three games of the series and five straight games overall to put their season in jeopardy.

Now, the Cubs will try to stave off a sweep when they host the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon in their home finale.

"They're almost like all seventh games (of a playoff series) we're playing right now," Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Saturday. "But you've got to do it in a manner that you're not pressing during these games."

It might be too late.

In the National League Central division, the Cubs trail the first-place Cardinals by six games with only seven games remaining in the regular season. Chicago also has fallen three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL's second wild-card spot.

The Cubs' latest loss might have been their most devastating. They led 8-7 entering the ninth inning, only to watch Craig Kimbrel allow homers on each of his first two pitches -- one to Yadier Molina and one to Paul DeJong -- in what blew up into a 9-8 loss.

Kimbrel figures to be unavailable for the series finale, unless all other options have been exhausted. He has taken the loss twice in the last three games and has an 0-4 record since joining the Cubs in the middle of the season.

"I feel great right now," Kimbrel told reporters. "My last two outings, I felt great. I just didn't get the results I wanted, the results I need to have to do my job. Moving forward, I have a good feeling I will."

Good feelings are warranted for the Cardinals, who can clinch a playoff appearance with a win on Sunday. St. Louis has missed the postseason for three seasons running and is in line to snap the skid in the first full season under manager Mike Shildt.

Shildt said he was proud of his group after the latest comeback win.

"We've seen resilience all year, so we can't be surprised by it, but we proved it yet again," he told reporters. "That's how we play the game. We play the game the whole way. ...

"When you invest as much as this group invests in what they do every day, and you invest about something being bigger than you, that means you care. And when you care, it means you fight. And that's what this team does: It cares and fights."

The Cardinals will start right-hander Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA), who is looking to post double-digit wins for the second season in a row. Mikolas is 3-2 with a 1.64 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against the Cubs in his career.

Chicago will turn to right-hander Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02), who has posted a 2.70 ERA in 12 starts since the All-Star break. Darvish is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.

St. Louis is 8-7 against the Cubs this season.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 22, 2019

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