Matt Carpenter
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The Cardinals still have a shot at the postseason

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The Cardinals are still in the mix for a playoff spot after downing the Cubs 2-1 on Saturday. In order to secure their spot in the NL Wild Card Game, however, they’ll need the Giants to rally from a disheartening 3-1 defeat on Friday and win their final two games against the Dodgers, who currently have a 1.5-game leg up in the wild card race.

Things were looking up for the Cardinals on Saturday following one of Miles Mikolas‘ strongest starts of the year. The right-hander went eight strong, limiting the Cubs to just one run and five hits and striking out six of 28 batters faced. With the win, his record now sits at 18-4, a personal best over four seasons at the major-league level.

At the plate, the Cubs were the first to strike after a routine pop-up deflected off of Yairo Munoz‘s glove in the first inning, giving Ben Zobrist just enough time to sprint around the bases and score the first run of the afternoon. Their lead didn’t last long, however, as Paul DeJong singled in the tying run in the fourth and Matt Carpenter came through with the winning run in the fifth after lacing a line drive up the middle. In the ninth, Carlos Martinez shut the door with a five-pitch inning, retiring Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo on back-to-back groundouts and inducing a game-ending fly out from Javier Baez.

While the scales could still tip in the Cardinals’ favor this weekend, there’s also the potential for chaos. Should the Cardinals and Dodgers tie for the second wild card slot, they’ll play a tie-breaker in St. Louis to determine which team will face off against the no. 1 wild card holder… which might be the Brewers or the Cubs, depending on how the rest of the weekend shakes out.

After Saturday’s win, Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt had only this to say:

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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