September 24: Cardinals (89-70) @ Cubs (70-89)

Jenifer Langosch/ wpid-img_20140924_160456293.jpg

The Cardinals close out their three-game visit to Wrigley Field with a critical game tonight (7:05 pm CT first pitch). Pittsburgh has pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the Cardinals by going 15-3 since being swept in St. Louis. In order to hold the Pirates off, the Cardinals need some combination of four wins/Pittsburgh losses.  The Pirates will play on Thursday, which is an off day for the Cardinals.

Keep in mind that if the two teams were to tie atop the division after 162 games, they would meet in St. Louis on Monday to play a one-game tiebreaker. The winner takes the division. The loser goes to the Wild Card game.

The Cardinals will be without Jon Jay tonight as he had to leave the team due to a personal matter. The club expects Jay to rejoin the team in Arizona in time for Friday’s series opener.

Also, this will be John Lackey’s final start of the regular season for the Cardinals. He pitched well on extra rest his last time out but (depending on how Michael Wacha fares later this week) could need another strong performance tonight to solidify a spot in the postseason rotation.

And if you’re watching the game from home, be sure to take in the view of the stadium outfield. The Cubs are beginning stadium renovations tomorrow, and the first phase will include an expansion of the outfield bleachers and the addition of signage and a video board. The Cardinals just so happen to play the last game at Wrigley Field as it is now and will be the first in it next Opening Day. Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for

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