Cardinals clinch NL Central with 100th victory

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Baseball’s best division has been decided.

Tyler Lyons threw seven scoreless innings and Jason Heyward slugged a fourth-inning grand slam as the Cardinals dominated the Pirates 11-1 in the second half of a doubleheader Wednesday night in Pittsburgh to clinch the 2015 National League Central title. It’s the third consecutive division championship for the Cardinals, who have advanced to the NLCS in each of the last four postseasons and carry designs on another late run this year.

Pittsburgh, with Wednesday’s loss, is now locked into a National League Wild Card Game matchup with the Cubs. And the Cardinals will take on the winner of that game in the best-of-five NLDS.

It’s a shame that only one of those terrific National League Central teams can advance past the Division Series. Here’s where their records rank currently in all of Major League Baseball …

  1. Cardinals: 100-59
  2. Pirates: 96-63
  3. Cubs: 93-65
  4. Blue Jays: 92-65
  5. Royals: 90-67
  6. Mets: 89-68

This is the first 100-win team in St. Louis since 2005.