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Cardinals officially clinch a spot in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season

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The Cardinals lost 5-4 to the Cubs on Saturday, but they still punched their ticket to the post-season — as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch notes — with the Giants losing 6-0 to the Diamondbacks. It will be the Cardinals’ fifth consecutive playoff appearance. Since 2000, the Cardinals have appeared in all but four of 16 post-seasons.

Though Saturday’s achievement is satisfying, the Cardinals aren’t done yet. They can vastly improve their odds of success in October by clinching the NL Central and finishing with the best record. Entering play Saturday, the Cardinals had a five game lead over the Pirates and six over the Cubs. The Cardinals have 14 games remaining. The odds are on them taking care of business, but to quote an old saying, never count your chickens before they hatch.

The Cardinals’ schedule the rest of the way includes Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs, three home games against the Reds, four home games against the Brewers, three road games against the Pirates, and three road games against the Braves.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”