Cubs Roll Past Pirates Behind Jake Arrieta, Kyle Schwarber

cubs-3Chicago Cubs 22 game winner Jake Arrieta handcuffed the Pittsburgh Pirates in complete game shutout, Kyle Schwarber drove in three runs, and Dexter Fowler slugged a solo homer to back up the effort, as the Cubs rolled past the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 in the National League Wild Card game to advance to the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Arieta struck out 11 and allowed just four hits on 113 pitches.

The NL Cy Young Award contender allowed only four earned runs in his final 12 starts of the season, a stretch in which he went 11-0 with a 0.41 ERA over 88 1/3 innings for Chicago.

Pirates starter Gerrit Cole allowed six hits and four runs in five innings of work. He struck out four and walked one on a night when he clearly did not have his best stuff.

“Jake is looking like Jake,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of his starter in an in-game interview from the dugout on TBS. “The ball is really jumping out of his hand from down here. The velocity is good. All his pitches look really good. You can see the slider is really effective.”

Tempers flared in the seventh when Arrieta came up to bat. Pirates reliever Tony Watson plunked Arrieta in the hip, and Arrieta took offense. The dugouts emptied, and a near-brawl broke out near home plate. Pirates reserve Sean Rodriguez was ejected as a result if the dust-up

John Lackey will start in Game 1 of the NL Division Series for the Cardinals on Friday. The 36-year-old Lackey went 9-4 with a 1.93 ERA in 17 starts at home. Overall, he was 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA


MLB Playoff Schedule

American League Division Series

Who: Rangers vs. Blue Jays
Where: Games 1, 2, 5 in Toronto; Games 3, 4 in Texas

American League Division Series

Who: Astros vs. Royals
Where: Games 1, 2, 5 in Kansas City; Games 3, 4 in Houston/New York

National League Division Series

Who: Mets vs. Dodgers
Where: Games 1, 2, 5 in Los Angeles; Games 3, 4 in New York

National League Division Series

Who: Cubs vs. Cardinals
Where: Games 1, 2, 5 in St. Louis; Games 3, 4 in Chicago/Pittsburgh