Cubs forced to play wild card game

Cubs forced to play wild card game

The Chicago Cubs are ready to take on The Milwaukee Brewers today for an afternoon tiebreaker game that will determine the victor of the National Central Division.

It's a quick turnaround after falling short in their bid for a third straight division title, but the Cubs will have ace left-hander Jon Lester on the mound for the elimination game. Travis Shaw added a solo homer.

It's the eighth and ninth Game 163s since baseball moved to the three-division/wild card format. The right-hander pitched five innings of one-hit ball in a 2-1 victory at St. Louis on Wednesday night. Marquez has faced off against the Dodgers three times, winning two of those games, with a 2.57 ERA.

Freeland (17-7) finished with a 2.85 ERA overall this season.

Christian Yelich's easy smile and champagne-soaked T-shirt said it all. Mike Moustakas then ripped an RBI single to right.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Braun and Shaw and a walk drawn by Moustakas. His upper-deck blast off Daniel Stumpf (1-5) gave the Brewers a 6-5 lead in the seventh. He drove in Arcia with his two-out hit in the third.

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The victor goes to the National League Division Series, and the loser goes to the National League Wild Card Game - a winner-take-all matchup - against the loser of the National League West tiebreaker game later Monday.

That means two games Monday, both on ESPN, with the first starting at 12:05pm CT and the second at 3:09pm.

The Dodgers routed San Francisco on Sunday to keep pace with Colorado, which has won nine of 10.

The losing team will go on to play in the one-game National League Wild Card game, with the victor getting a few days off before advancing to the NL Division Series. They are the defending division champs who held a sizeable lead just a month ago.

"It's a game where obviously it's not do-or-die, but I think that it's a must-win game", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after a 15-0 rout in San Francisco. He guided the franchise to a World Series championship in 2002.

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