By Jon Weisman
Deciding the Dodgers’ first playoff opponent came down to the final day, but not the final game.
Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto shut down Pittsburgh on one run in eight innings today, but it was his unlikely RBI single in the bottom of the eighth that broke a 1-1 tie and put the Reds ahead to stay in 4-1 victory over the Pirates, handing the National League Central title to the St. Louis Cardinals and setting up a playoff rematch for them with the Dodgers.
Here’s the schedule for the best-of-five NLDS:
- Friday: Game 1 at Dodger Stadium
- Saturday: Game 2 at Dodger Stadium
- October 6: Game 3 at St. Louis
- October 7: Game 4 at St. Louis (if necessary)
- October 9: Game 5 at Dodger Stadium
This will be the second year in a row and third time in six seasons that the Dodgers have met the Cardinals in the playoffs. Los Angeles swept St. Louis in the 2009 NLDS before losing in six games in last year’s National League Championship Series.
Had Pittsburgh won and St. Louis lost, the two teams would have had a tiebreaker game for the division title Monday. Instead, you can expect a Clayton Kershaw-Adam Wainwright showdown to open the postseason at Dodger Stadium on Friday.
Pittsburgh will host San Francisco and Madison Bumgarner in the NL Wild Card game Tuesday, with the winner traveling to Washington to play the Nationals, whose Jordan Zimmermann threw a season-ending no-hitter today. It’s the first no-hitter by the franchise since Dennis Martinez’s perfect game for the Expos against the Dodgers in 1991.
Here’s the play that ended that no-hitter:
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