Cubs eliminate Cardinals from playoff contention
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs eliminate Cardinals from playoff contention

by - Senior Writer -

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals will miss out on the postseason for the second consecutive season, as the Chicago Cubs eliminated from playoff contention with a grueling 11th-inning win on Thursday night. In a contest that featured little offensive excitement and several unfamiliar faces, the Cubs walked away victoriously with a series win to show for it.

In stark contrast to the remainder of the game, the top of the first featured offensive fireworks when Chicago right fielder Ian Happ took St. Louis starter Lance Lynn deep to begin the game. His lone hit of the night, the shot to right by Happ marked the rookie sensation's 23rd long ball of the year. Other than that, Lynn pitched really well on the evening, giving up just three hits before being pulled after the conclusion of the fifth inning.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks was equally adept, striking out nine and giving up just four hits in his five innings on the hill. He was arguably pulled too soon, as the Cardinals knotted the game up at one run apiece in the sixth inning, as Cubs reliever Justin Grimm practically blew the lead by himself.

After Cardinals left fielder Tommy Pham led off with a single, Pham proceeded to steal second base and advance to third on a wild pitch by Grimm. That set the stage for former Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler to bring Pham home on an RBI groundout.

The ensuing innings featured little hitting success, as the game transitioned into extra innings with neither team carrying forth any momentum. In the 11th inning, September call-up Taylor Davis made his mark with the Cubs. The rookie catcher hit an RBI double to left that scored left fielder Kyle Schwarber to put the Cubs up 2-1.

Another Cubs youngster, outfielder Leonys Martin, saved the game for Chicago in the bottom of the 11th, as he skied at the wall to rob a potential game-tying blast, securing the 2-1 win for the Cubs. The victory. which was the third in four games over the Cardinals, improved Chicago to 90-69 overall, while it dropped St. Louis to 82-77 and eliminated the Cards from playoff contention.

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