Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Three

NLCS Game 3 Live Blog: Brewers vs. Cardinals


11:20pm: Thanks for hanging out. Game 4 of the NLCS is scheduled for Thursday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

11:19pm: McGehee also chases a high fastball from Mote. Game over.

11:18pm: The Brewers will pinch-hit for Lucroy with Casey McGehee.

11:16pm: Betancourt chases high heat. Two down.

11:14pm: Hairston grounds out to shortstop. One down.

11:11pm: Furcal strikes out. The Brewers will send Hairston, Betancourt and Lucroy to the plate in the top of the ninth inning, down one run. The Cardinals can take a 2-1 NLCS lead if Motte closes it out.

11:07pm: Punto strikes out to open the frame, then Fielder makes a nice play on a tough hop to retire Descalso. The Cardinals are back to the top of their order, but they have two outs here in the eighth.

11:03pm: Motte strikes out Weeks, hitting 99 mph with his out-pitch. To the bottom of the eighth…

11:00pm: The Cardinals bring in closer Jason Motte for a four-out save.

10:57pm: Rzep fans Fielder. TBS’ Ron Darling calls his last slider the “biggest pitch Marc has ever thrown.”

10:54pm: Freese has been replaced by the more defensively adept Daniel Descalso.

10:53pm: Lynn stays in the game and retires Braun on a groundout to second base. The Cardinals will bring in left-hander Marc Rzepczynski to face Fielder, then probably a right-hander to face Weeks.

10:49pm: Freese grounds into an inning-ending double play. The Cards hold a mere one-run lead and the Brewers have Braun, Fielder and Weeks set to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Huge inning for Milwaukee.

10:46pm: Molina flies out to right field. Freese, who is 3-for-3, steps to the dish.

10:44pm: The Brewers bring in Takashi Saito, who plunks Berkman with his first delivery.

10:39pm: Hart also flies out to center, then Kotsay flies to right. Lynn sets ’em down in the top of the seventh.

10:35pm: Morgan flies out to center field. More boos from the St. Louis faithful.

10:33pm: Lance Lynn enters and will face pinch-hitter Nyjer Morgan. Big boos from the crowd.

10:30pm: Holliday strikes out again with two batters on. He’s 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored so far in this NLCS Game 3. The Cardinals still lead the Brewers 4-3 as the top of the seventh inning arrives.

10:26pm: Pujols is intentionally walked. The pressure is on Holliday yet again.

10:24pm: Jay flies out to left field. Pujols steps in with a man on second base.

10:20pm: Furcal bunts Craig over to second base. Jay and Pujols are coming up.

10:18pm: Allen “Wrench” Craig singles to left field as a pinch-hitter to open the frame.

10:17pm: Gallardo is also finished after five innings. He allowed eight hits and walked five, but the Cardinals were only able to score those four first-inning runs. The right-hander tossed 95 pitches (48 strikes). The Brewers’ first reliever of the night will be veteran right-hander LaTroy Hawkins.

10:14pm: Salas quickly retires all three batters in the top of the sixth. To the bottom half we go.

10:12pm: The Redbirds’ first reliever is Fernando Salas.

10:10pm: Carpenter is done for the night. He allowed six hits and three earned runs over five innings, issuing three walks against three strikeouts. Carp threw 89 pitches, 48 of which went for strikes.

10:08pm: Gallardo strikes out Punto. Let’s head to the sixth.

10:04pm: Berkman pops up on a first-pitch swing to open the bottom of the fifth, then Molina is retired on a fly ball in foul territory. But Freese stays hot with his third hit of the night, a single to right field.

9:59pm: Carp fans Weeks to escape the danger. To the bottom of the fifth we go.

9:55pm: Fielder is issued an intentional pass after Carpenter falls to a 3-0 count.

9:53pm: Light rain has begun falling at Busch Stadium.

9:51pm: Braun flies out to the right-field warning track, but Kotsay tags and advances to second base.

9:50pm: Hart strikes out, Kotsay walks. The Brewers have a runner on with Braun and Fielder coming up.

9:44pm: Holliday chases high heat and strikes out. Gallardo escapes a big jam. The Cardinals lead 4-3 as we head to the top of the fifth inning. Carpenter is at 67 pitches and Gallardo is up to 82.

9:42pm: Pujols advances to second base on a ball in the dirt.

9:40pm: Gallardo intentionally walks Pujols, bringing up Holliday with runners at first and third.

9:39pm: Jay swings on the first pitch and grounds into a double play. Ugly at-bat.

9:38pm: Furcal walks. Gallardo has now thrown 71 pitches, just 35 for strikes.

9:35pm: Carpenter leads off the bottom of the fourth inning with a hot shot to shortstop, where Betancourt couldn’t make a play. The Cardinals now have the top of their batting order coming up.

9:31pm: Gallardo grounds out to end the top of the fourth.

9:29pm: Punto snags a hard-hit line drive from Lucroy for the second out of the fourth inning. Betancourt was almost doubled up at first base, but Pujols couldn’t keep his back leg on the bag.

9:26pm: Holliday makes a sliding catch on a Hairston pop-up for the first out of the fourth inning, then Betancourt reaches when Freese can’t complete a diving stop at the hot corner. One on, one out.

9:21pm: Punto grounds out to second to end the threat. This NLCS Game 3 heads to the fourth inning. The Cardinals still lead 4-3, but Gallardo appears to be settling in faster than Carpenter.

9:18pm: Berkman grounds out to second base to open the bottom of the third, then Molina flies out to center field. But Freese keeps the inning alive with a ground-rule double over the head of Braun.

9:12pm: Weeks grounds out to end the top of the third. The Cardinals will bat with a one-run lead.

9:11pm: Furcal turns an impressive double play on Fielder, who broke his bat on contact.

9:10pm: Braun bloops a broken-bat single to right. He’s 5-for-9 in this series and 14-for-27 this postseason.

9:08pm: Kotsay, who made two bad mistakes in the first inning, just sent a no-doubt home run into the right field bullpen at Busch Stadium. The Brewers are down only one run with Braun and Fielder coming up.

9:07pm: Pitch counts through two innings: Carpenter 45, Gallardo 47.

9:05pm: Holliday grounds out to short. The Cards still lead 4-2 as we move to the third inning.

9:03pm: Albert advances to second base on a wild pitch by Gallardo. Holliday is at the plate.

9:01pm: Pujols remains ridiculously hot, punching a single through the right side of the infield.

8:59pm: Furcal and Jay are both retired on groundouts. Two quick outs for Gallardo.

8:55pm: Hart strikes out looking to end the frame, but the Brewers are back in this. Carpenter is suddenly up to 45 pitches and is leaving balls up in the zone. We head to the bottom of the second.

8:52pm: Gallardo scores Hairston with a sacrifice fly. Two outs. Cardinals 4, Brewers 2.

8:51pm: Lucroy flies out to right field. Brewers have runners at first and third, one out.

8:47pm: Betancourt adds another single, scoring Weeks from second base. Cardinals 4, Brewers 1.

8:46pm: Hairston also singles to right. The Brewers have life again here in the second inning.

8:43pm: Weeks laces an inning-opening line drive to right field. Up comes Hairston.

8:40pm: Carpenter grounds out to end the frame. Gallardo threw 33 pitches, 16 for strikes.

8:38pm: Punto is given an intentional walk after the count climbs to 3-0. Carpenter is now batting.

8:36pm: Freese launches a ball to deep right field that gets over the glove of Hart. Holliday scores, giving the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Brewers seem a bit shell-shocked at the moment.

8:35pm: Molina grounds into a double play, but another run crosses the plate. Cards lead 3-0.

8:32pm: Berkman draws another walk. The bases are loaded, no outs. Molina is coming up.

8:28pm: Holliday draws a walk. There are still no outs. Gallardo looks to be in serious trouble.

8:26pm: Pujols golfs a ball to the base of the left-center field wall, scoring Jay. Cardinals lead 2-0.

8:23pm: Furcal advances to second base on a ball in the dirt, then scores when Kotsay can’t come up with a diving catch in center field. Jay is awarded a double and an RBI. He’s at second base.

8:20pm: Furcal leads off the Cardinals’ half of the inning with a single up the middle.

8:16pm: Fielder flies out to center field, and Kotsay is caught creeping too far off the second base bag for a double play. That’s what we call a momentum-changer. To the bottom of the first inning…

8:14pm: Carpenter plunks Braun in the arm after beginning the at-bat with two consecutive strikes. Fielder is coming up, looking to do a little early damage with one out and two men on.

8:12pm: Kotsay draws a one-out walk.

8:09pm: Carpenter retires Hart to lead off the game after the at-bat goes to a 3-2 count. We’re expecting a pitcher’s duel, but expecting anything in baseball’s postseason is often foolish.


The sky has looked threatening all day long in the St. Louis area, but the city has avoided rain drops thus far and this NLCS Game 3 is going to start on time. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

We’ll be live-blogging the action all night, even if play needs to be stopped for thunderstorms (or squirrels). It’s Brewers vs. Cardinals. The seven-game series is tied 1-1. Here are your starting lineups:

1. Corey Hart, RF            1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, CF           2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF            3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B        4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B          5. Lance Berkman, RF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B    6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS   7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C        8. Nick Punto, 2B
9. Yovani Gallardo, RHP      9. Chris Carpenter, RHP

Updates will read bottom-to-top. Consider the comments an open thread. Let’s have some fun.

The Cubs’ NLCS finish was one for the history books

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Chicago Cubs fans hold a sign after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Cubs obliterated the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS, riding nine shutout innings to their first pennant win since 1945. Here’s what you should know about their historic finish:

  • By virtue of the Cubs’ 71-year World Series drought, Jon Lester and Javier Baez became the club’s first and only postseason MVPs in franchise history. The World Series MVP award was first distributed in 1955, while the NLCS MVP awards have been issued since 1977.
  • Lester and Baez are also the first co-MVPs of the Championship Series since the 1990 Reds celebrated left-hander Randy Myers and right-hander Rob “Nasty Boy” Dibble following the team’s ninth pennant win (per’s Jenifer Langosch).
  • Anthony Rizzo’s fifth inning solo shot in Game 6 tied him with Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, and Kyle Schwarber for the most postseason homers hit at Wrigley Field, with three (per Comcast SportsNet’s Christopher Kamka).
  • Rizzo and Willson Contreras’ home runs were the first Clayton Kershaw had given up in the playoffs since Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS. The twin blasts also accounted for a fifth of the total home runs Kershaw had given up in 2016.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s Game Score of 33 was not only the lowest the left-hander had put up since the start of the 2015 season, but the lowest the Cubs had seen from an opposing pitcher in the postseason since 1989. During Game 4 of the 1989 NLCS, Giants’ right-hander Scott Garrelts pitched 4 2/3 innings with eight hits, four runs, and two homers en route to a 6-4 loss and a 33 Game Score.
  • By contrast, Kyle Hendricks’ Game Score of 86 was the third-highest among Cubs’ postseason starters, ranking just below Jake Arrieta’s 11-strikeout complete game during the 2015 wild card tiebreaker and Orval Overall’s three-hitter in Game 5 of the 1908 World Series.
  • The last major league season to feature an ERA leader on the Cubs’ roster was 1945, also the last season in which the Cubs rode to the World Series. In 2016, the MLB ERA leader is Game 6 winner Kyle Hendricks (2.13 ERA); in ‘45, it was left-hander Ray Prim (2.40 ERA), who capped a dominant year with a loss against the Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series and blown save in Game 6.
  • Not to be overlooked in the lefty’s gem on Saturday night: Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman combined to face the minimum number of batters, at 27. According to MLB Stat of the Day, only the 1956 Yankees had also faced the minimum batters in a postseason game, though they did it with just a bit more panache.
  • With Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez, and Addison Russell penciled into the lineup, the Cubs became the first MLB team to utilize five starters under 25 years old to clinch the NLCS (also via MLB Stat of the Day).
  • If you want to talk postseason drought, the Cubs-Indians World Series will set a precedent for combined championship-less streaks, at 174 years between the two clubs (per ESPN Stats & Info).
  • Speaking of unpleasant streaks, there’s this: with the Dodgers’ loss in the NLCS, they’ve now gone to the postseason four consecutive times without participating in a World Series showdown. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, that’s a first in major league history.


The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder: