Cubs clinch division, heating up at right time

Updated: 

The Chicago Cubs are back in the MLB postseason for a third consecutive year after a win over the St Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

The last time they reached the play-offs in three straight years was from 1906-08.

The defending World Series champions gave their fans quite the scare throughout most of the season. Getting swept at home by the Milwaukee Brewers early in September sounded the alarm bells that this team could potentially miss the play-offs. But talent won out in the end, and the Cubs rattled off their 12th win in 15 games with a 5-1 defeat of the Cardinals to clinch the National League (NL) Central.

John Lackey (12-11) allowed just two hits and one run in six innings to earn the win. 

Addison Russell was the Cubs' hero offensively, bashing a three-run home run in the seventh inning. The Cubs' offense suffered through an inconsistent season. It appeared unstoppable at times, but also went through stretches where runs were hard to find.

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

Houston Astros 12-2 Texas Rangers
Miami Marlins 9-15 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 5-6 Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants 3-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Baltimore Orioles 3-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 1-6 New York Yankees
Washington Nationals 5-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs 5-1 St Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves 1-7 New York Mets
Minnesota Twins 2-4 Cleveland Indians
Toronto Blue Jays 7-10 Boston Red Sox
Cincinnati Reds 6-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels 4-6 Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers 4-7 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 0-10 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

DELMONICO DELIVERS

Not only did White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico bash a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to lead his team past the Angels 6-4, he also helped the Twins clinch their first postseason appearance since 2010.

BAD BREWERS

Brewers sluggers Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana combined to go 0-for-eight with four strikeouts in a 6-0 loss against the Reds. Milwaukee have now lost five of their last seven games, drifting further away from the final NL wildcard spot.

 

SUPER J.D.

J.D. Martinez hit his 45th home run. Martinez helped lead the Diamondbacks to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Giants.

ASTROS AT RED SOX

This possible postseason preview will feature Brad Peacock (12-2, 2.98 ERA) for Houston (98-60) facing off against Eduardo Rodriguez (6-6, 3.91 ERA) of the Red Sox (92-66). Boston still need to clinch their division, while the Astros are safely in the American League Division Series. The Red Sox are currently three games up on the Yankees for the AL East title with four games to play.