Cards out of playoff hunt after 2-1 loss to Cubs

Louis Cardinals' playoff hopes with a 2-1 win on Thursday night, and the way the game ended just added insult to injury for the Redbirds. The final out came as Cubs center fielder Leonys Martin leaped to the top of the center-field wall to rob a potential homer by the Cardinals' Paul DeJong.

Not only was the catch a spectacular grab, but it also served as a massive dagger to the Cardinals.

The loss dropped St. Louis four games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second wild-card spot with only three games to play.

This marks the first time the Cubs will advance to the postseason for the third consecutive season since they went to the World Series in 1906-08.

Well, the game went into extras tied at 1-1, and Cubs fifth-string catcher Taylor Davis hit an RBI double in the 11th to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

Quintana's only career start against the Reds came earlier this season when he allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) in five innings and picked up a victory on August 14. At the All-Star break, the Cubs were 43-45 and 5.5 back of the surprising Milwaukee Brewers and the certainty of another postseason berth did not seem 100 percent assured. The Cardinals only run came on a Dexter Fowler ground out in the sixth inning that scored Tommy Pham.

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So hard in fact that Mike Matheny didn't bother.

Cardinals C Yadier Molina is still going through concussion protocol tests to see if he will be cleared to play again this season. They beat the Braves in a 2013 NLDS before losing to the Cardinals, and a year ago beat the Nationals before losing to the Cubs.

Jedd Gyorko got a run back for the Cardinals in the second with a one-out home run, the first of his three hits, into left field to cut the lead to 5-1. And so it goes for the 2017 Cubs, who overcame injury and inconsistency to put themselves in position to become baseball's first repeat World Series victor since the Yankees from 1998-2000.

John Lackey (12-11) allowed just two hits and one run in six innings to earn the win. Louis Cardinals, or a Milwaukee Brewers loss.

"I think it's been incredible", said Matheny. After winning 103 regular-season games and ending their 108-year title drought in 2016, the Cubs returned all of their key players and appeared poised to maintain their place atop baseball. Lynn is eligible for free agency and likely was making his final start for the Cardinals. He made it look easier than it ought to be to get to the point where he is. "Couple all that with our bullpen, where we've got some guys that are kind of going on fumes".