St. Louis Cardinals: 100 Wins and an NL Central Championship


An 8-2 loss to the Pirates in Game 1 of a doubleheader this afternoon was quickly forgotten. The Cardinals took care of business in the nightcap for Game 2. With an 11-1 victory, the Cardinals are your 2015 National League Central Division Champions, and to go along with that, have earned their 100th win of the season. For the ninth time in franchise history, the Cardinals have reached 100 wins, and their first since 2005 (100-62).

Jason Heyward delivered the big hit of the game, a grand slam in the Top of the 3rd inning to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead, blowing the game wide open. That was Heyward’s second grand slam of his career and his first hit of the season with the bases loaded (1-10).

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For the first time since Carlos Martinez was ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, Tyler Lyons got the start. All Lyons would do was throw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and recording five strikeouts.

St. Louis did something for the first time since April of 2012 to clinch the NL Central title, and that was win two out of three against the Pirates at PNC Park. The Cardinals finished this season with a 46-30 record against the NL Central, while the Pirates are only 32-41 against the division.

This was the Cardinals’ third consecutive National League Central Championship (10th NL Central title since 1995) and they will be making an NLDS appearance for the fifth straight season. The Cardinals become the first team since the 2011 Phillies to have 100 wins on the season, as Philadelphia finished with a record of 102-60.

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Not only 100 wins, not only an NL Central Championship, but the Cardinals get some other good news with tonight’s win: they will avoid having to face Jake Arrieta in the National League Wild Card Game.

It is all set, as the Cardinals will play the winner of the Cubs and Pirates in the N.L. Wild Card Game for a spot in the NLDS (likely being played in Pittsburgh) on Wednesday night. After an off-day tomorrow, the Cardinals will finish the 2015 regular season with a three-game weekend series against the Braves in Atlanta.

The Cardinals have a new magic number: 11, as they begin the journey for their 12th World Series Championship in franchise history as the postseason starts next week.

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