Cubs better Pirates in Wild Card game

Drew Hanft, Sports Reporter

For the first time since the year of 2008, the Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs.  The Chicago Cubs take on the St. Louis Cardinals tonight at 5:45 central time.  The Cubs ended their six year drought of missing the playoffs on Tuesday night, October 6 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh when they took on the second place Pirates.

The Pirates finished one game ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central standings finishing with a record of 98-64 while the Cubs finished the regular season with a record of 97-65.  Both teams finished behind the Cardinals who lead all of baseball with 100 wins.  The Cubs and the Pirates entered the game in a very strange predicament knowing one of the two teams would miss the playoffs despite their records being the top three in all of Major League Baseball.

However, because all three teams play in the NL Central this caused the two teams to have to play a one game playoff to see who would face the Cardinals in the National League Division Series.

The Cubs jumped on Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole right away as the two leadoff men did all the damage for the Cubs.  It started right away when rookie phenom Kyle Schwarber lined a ball to left field and scored leadoff man Dexter Fowler.  Schwarber and the Cubs struck again in the third inning when Schwarber hit a home run out of PNC Park to deep right with Fowler on base yet again making the score 3-0 in just the third inning.  Dexter Fowler then went deep to right center making the score 4-0 in the fifth inning.

This would be all the scoring the Cubs would need as ace Jake Arrieta was dominant throughout the entire course of the game striking out eleven, giving up only four hits, and walking zero.

Arrieta faced some heat when Pirates reliever Tony Watson plunked Arrieta in the seventh inning after Arrieta had two Pirates in previous innings.  This caused benches to clear and led to a scuffle between the two teams that ended with Pirates infielder Sean Rodriguez to be ejected.  However, Arrieta and the Cubs kept their composure and were able to close out the victory.

The Cubs are seeking to make a deep playoff run and win their first world series since 1908.

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