Rockies advance to NLDS with extra-innings victory over Cubs

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Jon Lester is scheduled to take the mound for the Cubs while Kyle Freeland is expected to be the starter for the Rockies. During the month of September, Lester was 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA, shaking off a shaky few months after the All-Star Break to help the Cubs back to the postseason for a franchise-record fourth-straight season. A Cubs team that preaches a positive one-day-at-a-time attitude only has one more guaranteed game left this year.

He'll be facing a loaded lineup that features Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, both of whom hit home runs in the NL West playoff loss to Los Angeles on Monday.

You certainly get nervous when you hear about a pitcher's forearm, because of its connection to the elbow.

So now the Cubs and Rockies play in the National League wild-card game. It was another very disappointing appearance, and I remarked that I'm not sure the Cubs could justify carrying him on a postseason roster at this point.

Cubs skipper Joe Maddon says in many ways the fact that the 162-game season comes down to an extra game to decide the national Central division champion shows why in his view baseball is the flawless sport.

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This game becomes an instant October classic.

But after Almora singled to lead off the second, Freeland retired the next 12 hitters through the fifth inning, and the zeroes on the old center field scoreboard kept piling up as the night went on.

Not this time. Rizzo quickly grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the would-be storybook rally had crashed-and-burned.

In a season of big highs and big lows, the Cubs saved the best for last.