Mon, Oct 14, 2019

The final day of the 2019 regular season has arrived and one division title was still up for grabs on Sunday. Here is everything you need to know from the final day of the 2019 regular season.

Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.

Who wins every MLB game? And what underdogs can give you a huge victory tonight? Visit SportsLine now to see the exact score of every MLB game, plus get full player stat projections, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times.

Baseball scores for Sunday, Sept. 29

Cardinals clinch NL Central title

For the Brewers to have any shot at winning the NL Central, they had to win Sunday, and Yasmani Grandal gave Milwaukee an early 2-0 lead. He clocked a first inning two-run homer, his career high 28th of the season, against Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman.

Unfortunately for Milwaukee, the Cardinals wasted no time blowing their game open against the Cubs. Dexter Fowler and Tommy Edman worked leadoff walks against lefty Derek Holland in the first inning, and Paul Goldschmidt brought a run home with a single. Marcell Ozuna plated a second run with a double play ground ball to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Fowler added a two-run home run in the second inning to double the lead, then Matt Carpenter really broke the game open with a three-run home run in the third inning. Carpenter’s blast gave St. Louis an 8-0 lead over the rival Cubs and the final score was 9-0.

The Cardinals clinched the NL Central title with their blowout win over the Cubs. It is their first division title since 2015. Milwaukee will settle for the second wild-card spot.

Here is the now final 2019 postseason bracket:

National League
· NL Wild Card Game: Brewers at Nationals (Tuesday, Oct. 1)
· NLDS: Wild Card Game winner at Dodgers; Cardinals at Braves (begins Thursday, Oct. 3)  

American League
 AL Wild Card Game: Rays at Athletics (Wednesday, Oct. 2)
· ALDS: Wild Card Game winner at Astros; Twins at Yankees (begins Friday, Oct. 4)

A Brewers win and a Cardinals loss Sunday would’ve forced a Game 163 tiebreaker game Monday to determine the NL Central title. Alas, there will be no baseball on Monday. The regular season is over and the postseason begins Tuesday.

Cole wins 20th game

For the first time since 2002, one team has two 20-game winners. Astros hurler Gerrit Cole joined Justin Verlander in the 20-win club Sunday afternoon with a crisp outing against the Angels.

The Astros are the first team with two 20-game winners since the 2002 D-Backs (Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling) and 2002 Red Sox (Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe). Verlander leads MLB with 21 wins and Cole is the only other 20-game winner.

Cole finished the season with an MLB-leading 326 strikeouts. Verlander is second with 300 strikeouts. They are only the second set of teammates ever with 300-plus strikeouts each, joining Johnson and Schilling with those 2002 D-Backs.

Bumgarner makes possible final appearance with Giants

After playing parts of 11 seasons and winning three World Series titles in San Francisco, franchise icon Madison Bumgarner made what might be his final appearance with the Giants on Sunday. He will be a free agent this offseason and is not a lock to return.

Bumgarner did not pitch Sunday. He instead pinch-hit in the fifth inning, and of course received a loud ovation as he walked up to the plate. Check it out:

What a cool moment. If this is the end of his time with the Giants, Bumgarner went 119-92 with a 3.13 ERA with the team. And, of course, he is a legendary postseason performer who was essential to the 2010, 2012, and 2014 championships.

Dodgers set new franchise wins record

Sunday afternoon the NL West champion Dodgers won their 106th game of the season, setting a new franchise record. They came into Sunday with 105 wins (obviously), their most since the Brooklyn days. Here are the winningest seasons in franchise history:

  1. 2019: 106 wins
  2. 1953: 105 wins
  3. 2017: 104 wins
  4. 1942: 104 wins
  5. 1962 & 1974: 102 wins

It’s worth noting that 1953 team had 105 wins in only 155 games, so their .682 winning percentage remains the highest in Dodgers history. This year’s .654 winning percentage is the second highest in team history. A good season for Los Angeles, this was. Now they’ll try to finish it off with that elusive World Series title.

Rangers close out Globe Life Park with a win

The Rangers played their final home game in Globe Life Park in Arlington on Sunday. They are moving across the street to a brand new facility, Globe Life Field, next season. Hall of Famer and Rangers icon Nolan Ryan threw out the ceremonial (last) first pitch:

The Rangers beat the Yankees in Game 162 Sunday. They went 1,145-936 (.550) all-time at Globe Life Park, which works out to an 89-win pace across a full 162-game season. That’s a pretty great winning percentage across 25 years, especially since the Rangers had some lean years mixed in.

Highlight of the Day: Wilkerson robs Bradley

In the eighth inning of Game 162, Orioles utility man Stevie Wilkerson turned in a catch of the year candidate. He stole a home run away from Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. with a Spiderman catch in right field. Check it out:

Goodness, what a catch. It’s never too late to enter into the catch of the year race. Wilkerson’s grab is definitely up for consideration.

Stat of the Day: Cole strikes out 10 … again

In addition to winning his 20th game Sunday, Astros co-ace Gerrit Cole also struck out 10 batters in his five innings. It was his ninth straight start with double-digit strikeouts, setting a new MLB record. Here’s the leaderboard:

  1. Gerrit Cole, 2019 Astros: 9 straight starts with 10-plus strikeouts
  2. Chris Sale, 2015 White Sox: 8
  3. Chris Sale, 2017 Red Sox: 8
  4. Pedro Martinez, 1999 Red Sox: 8
  5. Several tied with 7 (including Justin Verlander earlier this year)

The 10 strikeouts Sunday give Cole an MLB-leading 326 strikeouts on the season, the most by any pitcher since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson had 334 strikeouts in 2002. And he might be only the second most dominant starter in his own rotation. Crazy.

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