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Cubs rally late, prevent the Braves from clinching the NL East for at least a little while

Sep 21, 2013, 7:20 PM EDT

Travis Wood, Dioner Navarro AP

The Braves entered the day with a magic number of one to clinch the NL East and eliminate the Washington Nationals from division title contention. If they could overcome Cubs starter Travis Wood, they could bust out the bubbly at Wrigley, but the Cubs had other ideas.

Wood surrendered a run in the fourth on an Evan Gattis RBI single to right, but other than that, he was very sharp. The lefty allowed just the one run in seven-plus innings of work, allowing five hits and walking four while striking out seven. Braves starter Kris Medlen was even better, however, holding the Cubs scoreless through seven innings. He took the mound for the eighth and even got the first out of the inning, but he was pulled after allowing a single to Starlin Castro. Lefty reliever Scott Downs came in but promptly gave up a single to Donnie Murphy and an RBI double to Anthony Rizzo, allowing the Cubs to tie the game at 1-1. David Carpenter replaced Downs, but wasn’t any better, allowing an RBI single to Dioner Navarro and a sacrifice fly to Nate Schierholtz, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead entering the ninth.

Pedro Strop tossed an impressive ninth inning, striking out the side to wrap up the 3-1 victory and stave off the Braves’ celebration until at least the end of tonight’s Marlins-Nationals game. If the Marlins win, the Braves will clinch the East. Otherwise, the Braves will attempt to clinch tomorrow afternoon behind rookie starter Julio Teheran.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Pedro Strop got the save. Both Kevin Gregg and the Baltimore Orioles are not amused.

  2. Walk - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    I understand wanting to save McCann to hit with a runner on but the braves carry four catchers two of which were unused. There was no reason to allow laird to hit. Schafer was available to pinch hit. For that matter Teheran or Minor would have given a better at bat than bj upton turned in. Even if freddi wanted to save Schafer to pinch run there were other options for that, Elliot Johnson to pinch hit or run. The braves are winning despite Fredi gonzalez not because of him. The surrender lineup of bj upton and dan uggla then a pitcher needs to go. The braves will have a hard time winning with only six hitters in the playoffs. I am praying for joe girardi to look around and see an opportunity here or Davey Johnson for that matter.

  3. Brian - Sep 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I really wish the Cubs had traded Kevin Gregg early in the season before he remembered he was Kevin Gregg.

  4. perryt200 - Sep 22, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    oh come on. what diff does it make? anyone actually think the Nats will sweep StL in St Louis?

    stick a fork in them, the playoffs are set and the Central division is the strongest in the National League.

    Detroit clinchs and they have a crappy record.

    the only race now is to see if StL or Atlanta has the best NL record at the end.

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