BY STEVE OVERBEY | Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mike Shildt is ready. He hopes his St. Louis players are, too.
The Cardinals dropped a rain-shortened season finale, then turned their attention toward the NL wild-card game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
"If we're going to get to where we want to go, we'd like to go through the team that just won it the previous year," said Shildt, the Cardinals manager. "We might as well start with them right off the bat."
Matt Duffy extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a pair of run-scoring singles to help the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday in a game that was halted after seven innings.
Tommy Edman homered for St. Louis. Shildt removed regulars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado after two innings to rest for a potential postseason run.
The Cardinals closed the regular season by winning 19 of their final 22 games, with a franchise-record, 17-game winning streak from Sept. 11-28. They will be participating in the postseason for the third year in a row.
"We have a lot of guys who have been there before and done it before," said pitcher Jake Woodford, who took the loss on Sunday. "I feel like top to bottom we're very confident in our abilities."
St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter likes the way heads into the one-game showdown.
"I can expect and imagine it being a pretty rowdy crowd," Carpenter said. "It should be a really good baseball game, two really good teams going at it."
Chicago lost 91 games this season, the most since it went 66-96 in 2013.
Duffy broke a 2-all tie with a run-scoring hit in the fifth.
Edman ripped the first pitch over the wall in left leading off the first. It was his third leadoff homer of the year and sixth for the Cardinals.
Joe Biagini (1-0) picked up the win with three innings of scoreless relief in his season debut.
The Cubs won four of their final five games.
"You just have to take some of those victories and cherish them," Chicago outfielder Ian Happ said.
Woodford (3-4) gave up three runs on six hits in five innings.
The Cubs used a major league-record 69 players this season. Catcher Tyler Payne and Biagini made their debuts on Sunday.
The contest was delayed twice by a total of 42 minutes.
Cardinals long-time broadcaster Mike Shannon was honored in a ceremony before the game. Shannon, 82, called his last game on Sunday after 50 years behind the microphone. He is the 14th announcer in major league history to spend 50-plus seasons as a broadcaster and the sixth to spend that amount of time with the same team. Shannon was a member of the Cardinals' World Series-winning teams in 1964 and 1967.
"We're going to miss him dearly," Shildt said.
THEY WILL COME
A season-high 46,525 fans saw Sunday's relatively meaningless contest. The Cardinals averaged 26,282 per game and are one of six team to pass the 2 million mark this season.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina started for the second game in a row after missing four games with a sore shoulder.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.15) will start for the Cardinals on Wednesday. At age 40, he is the second-oldest St. Louis pitcher to start a postseason game behind 41-year-old Grover Pete Alexander, who started Game 2 of the 1928 World Series.