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Cardinals shut out the Cubs 7-0 to clinch the NL Central

Sep 27, 2013, 11:11 PM EDT

David Freese AP

Though a formality at this point, the Cardinals officially clinched the NL Central tonight with a 7-0 blanking of the Cubs. The offense got to Cubs starter Travis Wood early, scoring three times on a two-run double by Yadier Molina and an RBI single by Jon Jay. Wood exited after the first, as the one inning put him exactly at the 200-inning mark.

David Freese hit a solo home run off of Cubs reliever Brooks Raley in the third. The Cardinals added two more against Raley in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk by Matt Holliday and an RBI ground out by Molina. Matt Holliday crushed a solo home run into the bullpen at Busch Stadium in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Blake Parker.

Meanwhile, Cardinals starter Laynce Lynn was nearly untouchable, holding the Cubs scoreless over six innings on four hits and no walks while striking out nine. Kevin Siegrist, Edward Mujica, Carlos Martinez, and Trevor Rosenthal combined for three scoreless innings to wrap up the game.

The Cardinals aren’t done playing meaningful baseball yet, however. They are tied with the Braves at 95-65. The team with the best record gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and gets to play the winner of the Wild Card playoff game, ostensibly weaker than either remaining divisional winner.

  1. missingdiz - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Excellent–they don’t wait around, taking it for granted, waiting for the Pirates to lose…no, just go win. I like this team very much. I think I would like them even if they weren’t “my” team. One other thing–there’s been discussion about which Cardinal starters will be starters in the playoffs. Lynn has to be one. I don’t know what happened to turn him around, but you have to go with the hot hand. Unfortunately, it’s Kelly, bless him, who hasn’t been so hot lately.

    • albertmn - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Kelly has a 2.11 ERA in his last 8 starts. Some unearned runs given up in some of his recent starts may seem like he has been worse than he is. That said, the other potential starters have put up really good starts in the last turn through the rotation. If you look at the last 8-10 starts for each of the starters, Miller may be the most inconsistent.

    • spudchukar - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Competition is what turned around Lynn. He watched the rookies go out and challenge hitters, recognized his nibbling was getting him in trouble, and just let his good stuff take charge.

      I have no idea who will start in the play-offs. Everybody deserves a shot, so maybe they will go with 5 starters in the seven game series if they get that far.

      The bull pen choices for the play-offs will also be tough. I hate the fact that Freeman won’t be included, but unless they dump Choate or Mujica he most likely won’t be on the squad. Personally, I would prefer him to Mujica, but that would be a disservice to “The Chief”.

  2. cohnjusack - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Of the 12 players with 100 or more PAs, 10 of them came from the Cardinals farm system*

    Of the 16 Pitchers with 20 or more innings pitched, 13 came from the farm system*

    The 2013 Cardinals say significant contributions from the following rookies:
    Pete Kozma (starting shortstop…sadly)
    Matt Adams (17 HR in 284 ABs)
    Shelby Miller (15-9, 3.09 ERA)
    Trevor Rosenthal (2.66 ERA, 12.8 K/9 in 73 games)
    Seth Maness (2.35 ERA in 65 games)
    Kevin Siegrist (a whopping 0.47 ERA in 43 games)
    Tyler Lyons (8 starts, 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA…not so hot)
    Michaell Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA in 9 starts and almost a no-hitter)

    Oh, and Kolten Wong, Oscar Tavares and Carlos Martinez should be contributing next year.

    *This includes David Freese and Adam Wainwright, who were drafted by the Padres and Braves respectively, but traded to St. Louis before they cracked the majors

    • cohnjusack - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Cardinals 2014 Rotation Options…already

      Adam Wainwright
      Jaime Garcia
      Shelby Miller
      Lance Lynn
      Trevor Rosenthal
      Carlos Martinez
      Michael Wacha
      Joe Kelly

    • spudchukar - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      …and according to Kevin Siegrest there are more on the way.

  3. yourcubreporter - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    …and just like in 2011, the Cubs gift wrap the division title for the Cardinals.

    St.Louis, on behalf of the city of Chicago, you’re welcome!

    Sheesh!

  4. forsch31 - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:26 AM

  5. cohnjusack - Sep 28, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    7 random 2013 Cardinals facts

    1. They lead the league in runs scored as of yesterday by 60, a whopping 0.4 runs per game. They do so while ranking 13th in the NL home runs, last in stolen bases and grounded into the 2nd most double plays.

    2. The Cardinals hit .235 the bases empty, .313 with men, .330 with RISP and .373 with the bases loaded

    3. Is Carlos Beltran doesn’t hit another home run, this will be the first time since 1994 the Cardinals haven’t had a player hit 25 HR in a season

    4. Want more proof that Molina is a pretty good catcher? The Cardinals threw the fewest wild pitches in MLB

    5. 17 Rookies made an appearance with the Cardinals this year, the most in baseball. Impressive, when you consider the Astros and Marlins…

    6. Kevin Siegrist’s current ERA is 0.47. If it doesn’t go up, this will be the lowest ERA posted by a pitcher with a minimum of 30 innings since Buck O’Brien in 1911.

    7. Matt Carpenter posted the highest WAR for a Cardinals 2nd baseman since Frankie Frisch in 1927

  6. steelers88 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    As a Pirates fan I would like to congratulate the ST. Louis Cardinals for winning the NL Central. The cardinals are a HELL of a team. It was a dogfight the whole way and congratulations!

    • spudchukar - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Hope you guys get the home WC game, but I would like for you to do it on the last day.

  7. albertmn - Sep 28, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    The Cardinals are impressive. They have a formidable team for this year, and are also built for the long haul. For the last few years, they just keep bringing up guys from the minors that get it done. They will add some veteran free agents on shorter deals (Berkman, Furcal, Beltran) that don’t break the bank and don’t kill you long term if they don’t work out. They seem to always have a plethora of pitching options, even when they have to replace their closer every year or two, either to injury or poor play. Deep down, (maybe not that deep), I think they were even happy that Pujols demands were too high, so they could let him walk and not take too much scorn from the fans.

  8. jeffthomasb - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Coolest detail at the end of the game: the coaching staff hung back in the dugout and let the players do their celebration thing out on the field for a bit. Nice touch.

  9. bobhamiltonchicago - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    The Cubs have not won a World Series in 105 years (before ESPN before broadcast RADIO), yet they are one of the most profitable teams in sports. So there is no incentive for the ownership to win, which would drive up the value of the team members, forcing the owners to pay more money for the same team which sold out the park in last place.

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