Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NL DIVISION SERIES - CUBS 6, CARDINALS 4 ; Win Sends Cubs to NL Championship Series

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NL DIVISION SERIES - CUBS 6, CARDINALS 4 ; Win Sends Cubs to NL Championship Series

Article excerpt

PLAYOFF GLANCE

Tuesdays games NL Division Series

Cubs 6, Cardinals 4

Dodgers 3, Mets 1 (See Page 3B) Todays games AL Division Series

Rangers at Blue Jays, 4 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Astros at Royals, 8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

CHICAGO - Joe Maddon posed for a selfie on the field with his wife. Jon Lester sprayed champagne with his young son. Rocker Eddie Vedder partied on the mound. For the Chicago Cubs and their ever- hopeful fans, this bash was a long time in the making.

Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez homered and the fresh Cubs clinched a postseason series at Wrigley Field for the first time ever, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday to win the NL Division Series in four games.

"This is all just baseball fantasy, right? a drenched chairman Tom Ricketts said.

Only once since they last brought home the World Series in 1908 had the Cubs won a playoff series and never before had they finished off the job at their century-plus-old ballpark.

But with a raucous, towel-waving crowd jamming the Friendly Confines, the North Siders gave generations of fans exactly what they wanted. And as they gathered in the pulsating neighborhood, the lit-up marquee at Wrigley Field said it all: Cubs Win.

"I can only imagine what the next thing is going to look like, said Lester, the lefty who twice won the World Series with Boston. "And the next thing after that.

The crowd started roaring before the first pitch. And when closer Hector Rondon struck out Stephen Piscotty on a ball in the dirt and catcher Miguel Montero made the tag to end it, the Cubs came streaming out of the dugout.

"They deserve it, Rizzo said in the middle of the party. "Hopefully, this is just a taste of what's to come.

Up-and-comers all season under their first-year manager, Maddon's bunch of wild-card Cubs had arrived.

As the music blared and the strobe lights flashed in the clubhouse, Cubs players and coaches soaked each other. Then they took the celebration back onto the field as fans went crazy Vedder, from the local area, pitched right in.

The Cubs will face the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Mets matchup. The Mets took a 2-1 lead into Game 4 Tuesday night.

Chicago will play Game 1 Saturday on the road.

No team was hotter down the stretch than Chicago, which finished third in the majors with 97 wins after five straight losing seasons.

The Cubs knocked out the two teams that finished ahead of them in the NL Central, beating Pittsburgh in the wild-card game and sending St. Louis home after it led the majors with 100 wins.

"I think we're too young to even realize what we just did, young slugger Kris Bryant said. "It truly is a special time right now.

The banged-up Cardinals had reached the NLCS in the last four years.

"It was just unfortunate, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. …

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