Sports

Cubs celebrate NL Central title

Gennett’s blow put Nelson (8-14) in position to finally record a victory against the Cubs and gain some traction in what has been a tough second half of the season.

While the Nationals haven’t clinched yet, the 10-game lead they now hold over the Mets with no head-to-head games remaining means the Mets are playing for the Wild Card. But many of those same fans also were around for the last division title, when the 2008 Cubs won 97 games and then were swept by the Dodgers in the division series.

Detroit Tigers’ James McCann hits a one-run double against the Minnesota Twins in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. They have a better and deeper rotation than they did a year ago, the kids are a year older and better and the moves they made last winter really should make them less vulnerable against high-octane pitching.

The Cubs did not stick around the stadium and instead will celebrate after playing the second game of their four-game series today. Heck, members of the team’s front office, including president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, took the day off and sat in the bleachers. Aroldis Chapman (4-1) struck out the side in the 10th for his first win with the Cubs.

Jorge Soler smacked a two-run shot for Chicago. A Willson Contreras double, Chris Coghlan RBI single, Chris Carter error, and Munenori Kawasaki hit-by-pitch set the table for pinch hitter Addison Russell.

Before the game, Abreu met with a young cancer patient and said he would try to hit a home run for the boy. Compared to what they have done already, winning seven more games seems like an easy task. The game pushed into extra innings, delaying the impending champagne baths for a begoggled clubhouse. Broxton suffered the injury colliding with the wall in left-center in the third inning.

Manager Joe Maddon and the players were long gone from Wrigley by the time the Giants finished off the Cardinals. Relievers won’t pitch more than two days in a row, too. Alas, this was not one of those times. The crowd exploded. His teammates stormed the field and mobbed him at home plate. “I’ve been waiting for this my entire life, and it’s a long life I’ve lived”.

Keon Broxton launched a solo homer during a three-run fourth for Milwaukee. Dozier took the second of two flat breaking balls thrown by Mike Pelfrey (4-10) and stroked it into left field to drive in two runs and lift his season’s RBI count to 98. He had missed a meaty 2-0 fastball earlier in the at-bat, so it was a sort of mini redemption for the outfielder. Miggy (catcher Miguel Montero) called a great game back there and we had a good connection. He’ll likely receive ample rest before the playoffs begin.

San Francisco gained ground in the playoff race as fist-pumping Johnny Cueto (16-5) pitched a five-hitter and retired his final 17 batters, and Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer. The Cubs now have a magic number of five to finish ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings, and they have a magic number of nine to finish ahead of the Washington Nationals in the race for best record in the National League.