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04-13-2019, 05:59 AM,
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CHICAGO — In the matter of just a few hours Monday Willie McCovey Jersey , the Chicago Cubs went from being tied for the best record in the National League to finding themselves playing for their baseball lives on Tuesday.Despite that, however, they are just glad to still be alive.The Cubs will look to extend their season on Tuesday when they host the NL Wild Card Game against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field. Chicago (95-68) missed on a chance to host the NLD when they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 on Monday in the one-game tiebreaker for the Central Division title.Article continues below ...Instead, they will host the Rockies (91-72), who dropped a 5-2 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Monday’s other divisional tiebreaker. With the loss, the Rockies will fly cross-country to face the Cubs for the right to play the Brewers, who will host the NLDS starting Thursday.The loser of Tuesday’s game will see their season end. The Cubs and Rockies split their six games this season, the last of which was played at the beginning of May. Each team scored 33 runs over the six games.“It’s the seventh game of the World Series right out of the chute,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after his team managed just three hits Monday.Maddon added: “There’s no lamenting; there’s no crying. There’s none of that.”Ace Jon Lester will start for the Cubs. Lester (18-6, 3.32 ERA) has been on a roll of late and has won his past three starts and four of his five outings in September. Lester hasn’t allowed an earned run in two of his previous two starts but is 1-3 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against Colorado. Maddon said Monday that if needed, starter Cole Hamels could be available out of the bullpen if it meant allowing the Cubs to live to see another day.“We’ve got a lot of playoff experience in this locker room and I think that’s kind of what we have to pull on,” Hamels said Monday. “There’s a lot of teams that are at home right now and I think they would love that one more opportunity to play a meaningful game. That’s what we have to look at.”Like the Cubs, the Rockies struggled to find their offense in Monday’s loss. Colorado was no-hit for 5 2/3 innings and finished with just four hits before finally scoring a pair of runs in the ninth inning on back-to-back solo home runs by Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.Now Mel Ott Jersey , the Rockies will face a do-or-die scenario.Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85) will start on three days’ rest for Colorado and has not lost since Aug. 1. Freeland is 5-0 in September and is 9-1 with a 2.41 ERA in 14 starts since the All-Star break. Freeland is 0-2 in a pair of career starts against the Cubs with a 4.15 ERA.“I’m looking forward to the battle in Chicago,” Freeland said, according to the Denver Post. “I’ve done everything I could to get my arm feeling good from my last start and it feels good right now. I’m ready to go and I’m not to worry about being on short rest.”Like the Cubs, the Rockies feel they have their best option on the mound.“He’s been our best guy. It seems like every time he’s out there, we’re winning, we have a chance to win, or we do win,” outfielder Charlie Blackmon told the Post. NEW YORK (AP) — Trea Turner touched the plate, then turned to his teammates on the bench.“We did it, boys,” he told them.Turner set off a lively dugout celebration after scoring a run that ended Washington’s 32-inning scoreless drought and the Nationals broke loose in a huge way, hammering the New York Mets 15-0 Sunday.“I think everybody knew it was coming ,” slugger Bryce Harper said.The Nationals had been shut out in three straight games — for the first time since the team moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005 — before Juan Soto’s RBI groundout in the sixth.Ahead 1-0 in the eighth, Nats erupted for eight more runs in their biggest inning of the season. The burst featured homers by Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo, and a three-run, pinch-hit double by Harper.Mark Reynolds launched his sixth career grand slam to highlight a six-run ninth.“The bats, like I said, these guys can hit,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They proved that the last couple of innings.”The romp came with a cost, though, as Nationals reliever Kelvin Herrera was carted off the field with one out to go. He handled Jose Bautista’s grounder, but hurt the top of his left foot running to first base and hopped to the bag.Herrera had X-rays and was on crutches and wearing a boot after the game. The Nationals said they didn’t yet have an update on his injury.Hoping for the Nationals’ first run since Ryan Zimmerman’s game-ending homer on Wednesday night, Martinez wrapped up his pregame media session with this exhortation: “Let’s score some points!”They did, and Jefry Rodriguez (2-1) produced his best performance since his big league debut in June. The 25-year-old righty blanked the Mets on two singles for six innings. He walked four and struck out three.The Nationals neared the worst slump in franchise history, a 34-inning streak in 2004 as the Expos. The major league record is 48 innings without a run by the 1968 Chicago Cubs and the 1906 Philadelphia Athletics.Turner almost stopped Washington’s string by himself Matt Williams Jersey , leading off the sixth with a drive that hit the padding atop the left-field wall and went for a double. He took third on a single by Anthony Rendon and, after Zimmerman struck out, scored on Soto’s slow roller to the right side.Turner’s teammates lined up on the bench for a row of hearty high-fives, plus plenty of relieved smiles.“Just scoring that one run was kind of nice,” Martinez said.Eaton, who had four hits, started the eighth-inning frenzy with an infield single and capped it with a two-run homer.In between, Soto drew a bases-loaded walk, Harper doubled and Difo followed with a homer that silenced the crowd. Harper and Difo slapped hands at the plate, loud enough to be heard in the second deck.“It’s just weird how things happen,” Martinez said.Steven Matz (5-11) gave up one run and five hits over seven innings in his fifth start of the year against Washington. He did a lot better than the previous time he faced them — on July 31, he was tagged for seven runs and recorded just two outs in the poorest outing of his career, a 25-4 loss.Mets manager Mickey Callaway was startled by how quickly a one-run game turned into a blowout. The rout matched their most lopsided loss at Citi Field , which opened in 2009. Philadelphia beat the Mets 16-1 in 2012.“We threw 78 pitches in two innings and I think we gave up a few homers, too many walks. We just didn’t throw enough strikes,” he said.BIG LITTLE LEAGUERSThe Staten Island team that reached the U.S. semifinals at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, worked out on the field before the game. Callaway threw batting practice and pitchers Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman helped the youngsters shag flyballs.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: Harper wasn’t feeling well and didn’t start. … RHP Ryan Madson was scheduled to throw a bullpen and could come off the disabled list Monday if he feels fine. He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 12 because of nerve irritation that caused pain in his back and neck.Mets: 2B Jeff McNeil walked and singled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but left after six innings with tightness in his right quad. He’s day to day.UP NEXTNationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 4.23 ERA) starts vs. RHP Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.93) at Philadelphia on Monday night. Strasburg came off the disabled list last week after missing more than a month with a neck problem and gave up five runs in four innings against the Phillies. His velocity dipped in his last inning.Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.68 ERA) starts vs. Cubs LHP Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64) in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that begins Monday night.

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