MLB scores, highlights: Brewers clinch playoff berth, Pete Alonso swats home run number 51

The number of good remaining races is dwindling, but the NL Central lead for the Cardinals is shrinking and the AL wild card race remains hotly contested. Plus, we’re getting down to the last few days of the season and individual stat races can be fun. Let’s check out what’s happening on Wednesday in Major League Baseball action, shall we? 

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Baseball schedule/scores for Wednesday, September 25

Cardinals hold on NL Central tenuous; Brewers clinch playoff berth

After dispatching of the Cubs with a four-game sweep over the weekend, the path for the Cardinals to the NL Central title seemed clear. Now, however, it’s another matter. The Brewers basically never lose, even without MVP candidate Christian Yelich, and the Cardinals dropped their second straight game in Arizona Wednesday afternoon. 

This one was a gut punch, too. The Cardinals held a 5-2 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth. They would then cough up seven runs in a disaster of an inning. 

Just about the same time the Cardinals’ loss was coming to fruition, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun hit a grand slam: 

The Brewers ended up winning 9-2, which trims the deficit in the Central to 1 1/2 games with the Cardinals’ magic number stuck on three for the third straight day. On Sept. 5, the Brewers were 7 1/2 games out, by the way. They’ve only lost twice since then against 18 wins. 

The Brewers will play Thursday in Cincinnati with the chance to move to just one game back of the Cardinals, who will be idle. Then it’s off to Colorado for the Brewers for the final three games while the Cardinals face what’s left of the Cubs, who will surely have shut down Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez for good by then. Still, the Cubs likely want at least some level of retribution. 

Speaking of the Cubs, with the Brewers’ win, the Cubs will officially miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014, back when Bryant was still in the minors. The Mets were also officially eliminated as the Brewers and Nationals have claimed (at least) the two wild card spots. The Cardinals could end up there if the Brewers topple them. 

Alonso hits number 51

Pete Alonso has long since set the Mets’ club record and NL rookie home run record, but he’s now eyeing the MLB rookie record of 52, which was set by Aaron Judge in 2017. Wednesday, Alonso hit his 51st homer of the season. 

Quick hits

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