National League Wild Card: Chicago Cubs @ Pittsburgh Pirates
The Wild Card is a cruel mistress. The National League Central has the teams with the three best records in Major League Baseball; a certain anomaly considering the “one-and-done” formula at play. Because neither the Cubs nor the Pirates could win the division, here we are.
The Cubs broke through is a major way, offensively. Off the top, Dexter Fowler broke off for 3 hits and a run, Miguel Montero’s 1 hit and 1 walk scores 2 runs and 2 RBI and even starter Jake Arrieta scored a hit and an RBI. It made up for his seemingly human pitching line, where he actually gave up 3 ER, 4 hits and 2 walks. He did strike out 7 in 7 innings, and Kris Bryant’s 3 hit, 4 RBI, 3 Run outburst held up to the pressures of postseason play.
During the MLB 2015 regular season, the Pirates’ 98 wins came with no winning record against any NL Central opponents. Running into the Cubs in the playoffs was enough to throw them off their game, and everything that could go wrong did. Aramis Ramirez has to come in to play first base after Pedro Alvarez sprained his ankle, although he did knock in 3 RBI’s off of his sole hit: a home run. Polanco, Cervelli, Mercer; five positions in total could not knock in a hit. Andrew McCutchen did walk twice and score on a hit, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Chicago Cubs 9 – Pittsburgh Pirates 3
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