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Rockies capitalize on Brewers’ loss to secure a wild card spot

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Thanks to the Cardinals’ timely 7-6 win over the Brewers on Saturday, the Rockies will return to the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Brewers fell out of postseason contention despite an impressive run on Saturday, putting up five runs in the third inning to secure a two-run lead over the Cardinals.

Orlando Arcia got things started for the Brewers with a sac fly in the second, but was left stranded when Brett Phillips flew out to end the inning. Things weren’t so easy for Cardinals’ rookie Luke Weaver in the third inning. Ryan Braun clubbed an RBI double, his 27th of the season, while Shaw collected an RBI single and scored on Domingo Santana‘s first-pitch, two-run blast:

Leading 6-0 in the bottom of the third, it looked like the Brewers were poised to hang on for at least another day (barring a Rockies’ win on Saturday night, that is). The Cardinals had other ideas. Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez cut Milwaukee’s advantage down to two runs with a pair of doubles, and Stephen Piscotty returned in the eighth to tie it up with a two-run single.

Harrison Bader took care of the rest, plating Piscotty for the go-ahead run while Juan Nicasio effectively quashed the Brewers’ attempt to rally in the ninth. Following the Cardinals’ win, the Rockies will advance to the wild card tiebreaker against the Diamondbacks next Wednesday. The winner will go up against the Dodgers in the NLDS, who entered Saturday’s contest against the Rockies with a league-best 102-58 record.

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.