The Cubs survived an eventful ninth inning to finish off a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals this afternoon at Wrigley Field.
After entering the top of the ninth inning with a 5-1 lead, Hector Rondon hit with a Greg Garcia with a pitch. Both benches were warned after Kolten Wong was hit twice earlier in the game — remember the drama from Friday — so Rondon was immediately ejected. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was also ejected after walking on the field.
Zac Rosscup took over from there and quickly gave up a two-run homer to Matt Carpenter and back-to-back singles to Tommy Pham and Jason Heyward. With the tying run on base, Cubs closer Pedro Strop was asked to escape the jam. He struck out Jhonny Peralta looking before Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game. That’s when shortstop Addison Russell saved the day:
The Cubs have won five straight and are now just a half-game back of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot in the National League.
Per Russell’s Facebook page, this was what the Cubs’ clubhouse looked like after Friday’s win. It’s fair to say it was a fun place to be again this afternoon.
The Mets powered their way to victory in the first game of the interleague Subway Series on Friday, but Saturday it was the Yankees’ turn.
Michael Pineda tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann each homered as the Yankees blanked the Mets 5-0 his afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Citi Field.
Beltran got the Yankees on the board early with a three-run homer against Noah Syndergaard in the top of the first inning. Impressively, it came off a 100 mph fastball. McCann added a two-run shot in the sixth inning to stretch the lead.
The Mets’ biggest threat came in the bottom of the sixth inning after they got two on against Pineda with no outs. However, Pineda struck out Yoenis Cespedes swinging before Yankees manager Joe Girardi turned to left-hander Justin Wilson. Wilson walked Daniel Murphy to load the bases, but he bounced back to strike out David Wright and pinch-hitter Juan Uribe to escape the jam. Girardi would use five more pitchers — including three in the ninth inning — to finish off the victory. September baseball, everybody.
The series finale will take place tomorrow night. C.C. Sabathia will pitch for the Yankees while Matt Harvey will make his first start since September 8.
The Yankees (81-66) have a 4 1/2 game lead for the top Wild Card spot and sit four games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East. Meanwhile, the Mets lead the Nationals by 7 1/2 games in the National League East. Their magic number remains at eight.
Unfortunate news here, as Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com reports that Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will miss some time with another concussion.
Belt took a knee to the head on a slide into second base on Tuesday. The 27-year-old remained in the game and played through some neck stiffness on Wednesday and Friday, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Pavlovic that he was having trouble concentrating last night. Of course, Belt missed a large part of the 2014 season due to concussion issues. Given his history, the Giants could just shut him down for the year.
The Giants are also missing Nori Aoki and Gregor Blanco with concussions right now.