The Cubs jerseys could have wrapped it up Friday afternoon with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates jerseys, except cheap Gerrit Cole jersey outpitched cheap Jon Lester jersey and a late rally fell short in a 3 2 loss.
San Francisco then lost to Oakland 5 4, and that assured Chicago of at least an NL wild card spot.
The road back to the playoffs was a long one for the Cubs jerseys, who endured five straight losing seasons and a painful top to bottom overhaul under Theo Epstein.
He began loading up the minor league system almost as soon as he was hired in October 2011, and it paid off in a big way.
Young players started to make their way to the majors last season. The Cubs jerseys then made it clear they were serious about winning when they hired Maddon and signed Lester in the offseason.
cheap Kris Bryant jersey, who had two hits and scored Friday, debuted this season, as did cheap Kyle Schwarber jersey. And both players made big impacts.
“We’ll hopefully celebrate tomorrow and have a good time,” said Lester, who like Maddon was not planning to stay up. “These guys have never experienced this. We’ll enjoy it.”
On Friday, the Pirates jerseys hung on for their seventh straight win and increased their lead for the NL’s top wild card to 4 1/2 games over the Cubs jerseys.
Cole (18 8) and Lester (10 12) each lasted seven innings, and cheap Mark Melancon jersey held on in the ninth for his major league leading 51st save in 53 chances.
cheap Chris Denorfia jersey led off the ninth with a double and scored on cheap Starlin Castro jersey’s one out triple to right as the Cubs jerseys closed within a run and excited the crowd of 40,432.
Melancon then struck out cheap Jorge Soler jersey and cheap Javier Baez jersey on knuckle curves in the dirt.
Cole’s 18 wins are the most for a Pirates cheap mlb majestic jerseys jerseys pitcher since John Smiley went 20 8 in 1991. He gave up two runs and five hits, struck out eight and walked two while improving to 7 1 in nine starts against Chicago.
He also drove in the game’s first run with a single in the third.
cheap Michael Morse jersey put Pittsburgh ahead 2 1 with an RBI single off Lester in the seventh. The Pirates jerseys added a run in the eighth against cheap Pedro Strop jersey when cheap Jordy Mercer jersey reached on a wild pitch as he struck out leading off and scored from third on a grounder by cheap Starling Marte jersey.
Lester allowed two runs and five hits.
The Cubs jerseys had runners on first and second in the eighth, but cheap Tony Watson jersey struck out cheap Anthony Rizzo jersey to end the threat.
Cole gave the Pirates jerseys a 1 0 lead in the third with a single past a diving shortstop cheap Addison Russell jersey after cheap Jordy Mercer jersey doubled.
The Cubs jerseys tied it in the fourth when Bryant led off with a single and scored from third on a force by cheap Addison Russell jersey.
It stayed that way until the seventh, when former Cub Aramis Ramirez led off with a double and scored on Morse’s one out single. Morse, who was running on the pitch, then got doubled off on cheap Josh Harrison jersey’s pop fly to first to end the inning.
NO ILL INTENTION
Coghlan insisted he wasn’t trying to injure cheap Jung Ho Kang jersey with a takeout slide at Pittsburgh last week that left the Pirates jerseys shortstop with a broken left leg and torn knee ligament.
“I hate that he misses the whole year and it’s a significant injury and a big blow to them,” Coghlan said. “But I think those guys over there understand the way I play and it wasn’t a dirty play.”Pirates jerseys: RF cheap Gregory Polanco jersey (knee) and 3B Ramirez (groin) were back in the lineup after being held out Thursday against the Colorado Rockies jerseys.
Pirates jerseys: LHP cheap Francisco Liriano jersey (11 7, 3.41 ERA), coming off a win over cheap Clayton Kershaw jersey and the Los Angeles Dodgers jerseys, looks to stay on a roll for Pittsburgh. He is 7 1 in his past 15 starts, with the Pirates jerseys winning all but one of those games.