For the first time in Chicago Cubs history, they won a decisive game at Wrigley Field in a playoff series. The Cubs eliminated the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, out-slugging the Cards 6-4. Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Swarber all contributed home runs, one day after they hit an MLB playoff record six homers in Game 3. The Cubs took a risk by starting Jason Hammel, saving ace Jon Lester for a possible Game Five. John Lackey started for the Cardinals.
As Eddie Matz of ESPN points out, the Cardinals are sitting home for the NLCS for the first time in five years. Both starting pitchers only lasted three innings. The Cardinals were already missing All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, however Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports argues that starting pitcher Carlos Martinez was the player the Cardinals were missing the most. With Martinez out, the Cardinals were forced to move up Lackey's start instead of him going on normal rest like the Cubs were able to do with Lester. He claims that Lackey on normal rest against Lester in game five would have been a better match up.
But everything may align right for the prophecy of Back to the Future II to come true. The Cubs are even getting the Presidential endorsement.
With the remaining seven teams, it will be more than two decades since we will see a repeat World Series win, with two of them never winning a World Series reports Mike Axisa of CBS Sports. Last World Series wins:
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers survive to play another day – True Blue LA, Eric Stephen
Dodgers beat the Mets 3-1 to force a Game 5.
The Royals had a 3.2 percent chance of winning, and then the 8th inning happened – SB Nation, Catherine Slonksnis
The Royals rally back against the Astros to force a Game 5.
Ultimate Standings: Tigers take slight fall in rankings in down year - ESPN, Katie Strang
In the ranking of 122 pro sports teams, Detroit Tigers rank 46th, nine spots lower than last year. Brad Ausmus falls 40 places, ahead of seven other MLB managers.
Detroit Tigers, Red Wings extend radio partnership with 97.1 The Ticket - MLive.com, James Schmehl
You can continue to catch Tiger games on 97.1 The Ticket for the next few years.
Mensching: Tigers should give J.D. Martinez his big-money deal now - The Detroit News, Kurt Mensching
Kurt believes the Tigers should sign J.D. to a five year deal in the $80-85 million range.
Tigers OF prospect Wynton Bernard gets better as he moves up in minors - Detroit Free Press, Anthony Fenech
As he begins to play Winter Ball, Wynton Bernard reflects on his back-to-back seasons of .300 batting average and at least 40 stolen bases in the Tigers' minor league system.
Ex-Tiger, Cy Young winner Dean Chance dies at 74 - Detroit Free Press
Dean Chance played one season with the Tigers in his 10 year career, going 4-6 with a 3.51 ERA in 1971, his final year. He had previously won the Cy Young in 1964 while playing with the Angels and threw a no-hitter for the Twins in 1967.
Time to face facts, Tigers fans: Yoenis Cespedes, David Price are probably not returning, as you’d hoped - Oakland Press, Matthew B. Mowery
Mowery predicts that former Tigers' Yoenis Cespedes and David Price will not resign with the Tigers this off-season.
Phil Nevin: managerial candidate for the Nats, Mariners, Marlins and Padres - HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra
Former Erie SeaWolves and Toledo Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin might be ready for a Major League managerial job.
"Story stats" like Win Probability Added and Leverage Index don't reveal everything – Beyond the Box Score, Eric Garcia McKinley
WPA might be good for up and down, edge of your seat games, but doesn’t show the excitement of a no-hitter.