MLB Baseball

5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Chi Cubs0 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 5100
Milwaukee0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 030
0
  W: J. Quintana (7-3)   L: C. Anderson (11-4)
11:10 AM PT12:10 PM MT1:10 PM CT2:10 PM ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 AM MST1:10 PM EST1:40 PM VEN22:10 UAE1:10 PM CT, September 24, 2017
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 42,212

Cubs, Brewers meet in key series finale

MILWAUKEE -- The postseason is still a week away, but the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs can expect another afternoon of playoff-like intensity and atmosphere on Sunday when they wrap up a four-game showdown at Miller Park.

The first three games of this crucial four-game series between the National League Central-leading Cubs and the upstart Brewers have been riddled with drama: strong solid pitching, lockdown late-inning relief and last at-bat heroics as all three games went 10 innings and were decided by two runs or fewer.

"There's no difference between these three games and the games that are going to occur in the next month," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, whose team has a 4 1/2-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central. "They were absolutely that intense, well played on both sides, give both teams credit."

And the Brewers, who kept their slimming playoff hopes alive Saturday with a two-run walk-off homer by Travis Shaw, know it won't get any easier.

"I haven't been able to come up with the words for this series," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "This is about as exciting as it gets. It is as exciting as it gets.(The Cubs are) clearly coming into a good place where they're really tough to beat."

The Brewers not only are behind the Cubs for the division lead but trail Colorado by just a game for the second National League wild-card spot, with a half-game lead over the resurgent St. Louis Cardinals.

"They've battled when people have counted them out or not believed," Counsell said. "They'll continue to show up fight until the very end."

Chase Anderson gets the start as Milwaukee goes for the series split and a victory in the season series, which is tied at nine games apiece.

He has been sharp all season, despite missing nearly two months with a strained oblique, but has been dominant at Miller Park, where he's 5-0 with a 2.34 ERA in 10 starts this season.

"I want to be that guy," Anderson said of stepping up to bolster a rotation that has been depleted by injury and ineffectiveness. "There's plenty of guys in this clubhouse that can be that guy, but when you get asked to do it, it's an honor. I hope to do it throughout this September and hopefully in the postseason.

"I feel strong, I feel healthy and I think being out with the oblique injury kind of set me up for this. Kind of a blessing in disguise. Arm feels great, I'm ready to go."

Anderson has faced the Cubs three times this season, going 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA, and is 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA in six career starts against Chicago, which hands the ball to left-hander Jose Quintana.

Acquired at the break from the crosstown White Sox, Quintana has gone 6-3 with a 3.95 ERA since shifting to the North Side and took a no-decision his last time out, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Cardinals.

"He's becoming more part of the fabric, he knows the guys now, he seems more at ease," Maddon said of Quintana. "He's become part of the group. He's assimilated well.

"He's easy to respect. It's easy to respect this guy the way he goes about his work. He's become more comfortable with us and I think he won us over with the way he went about his work."

Updated September 24, 2017

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