The Giants are in. The Reds are in. Now we wait for the rest of the postseason picture to fully develop.
The Cardinals took a step toward the National League’s second Wild Card spot on Saturday at Wrigley Field, bouncing back from a crushing Friday loss to capture a 5-4 extra-innings victory over the Cubs. Adam Wainwright was shaky, yielding four runs in seven frames, but the bullpen registered zeros and Jason Motte earned his 39th save.
Carlos Beltran hit his 30th homer — a game-tying shot in the top of the ninth inning that sent a charge through the stadium filled mostly with red. The Cardinals’ big free agent acquisition is now batting .286/.375/.446 in September after slumping through August.
St. Louis enters play Sunday with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the Wild Card hunt.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Athletics 9, Yankees 10 (14 innings)
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4 (10 innings)
Brewers 4, Nationals 10
Orioles 9, Red Sox 6 (12 innings)
Marlins 3, Mets 4
Twins 0, Tigers 8
Dodgers 0, Reds 6
Braves 8, Phillies 2
Pirates 1, Astros 4
Indians 3, Royals 5
Blue Jays 5, Rays 11
Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 7
Rangers 0, Mariners 1
White Sox 2, Angels 4
Padres 4, Giants 8
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.