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2010 NL Playoff Race: Cubs Defeat Padres, Lower Giants Magic Number To 1

The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Diego Padres 1-0 behind superb pitching from starter Tom Gorzelanny and the Cubs bullpen. A pitcher’s duel was decided in the top of the ninth when Brad Snyder hit an RBI single off Heath Bell. The Padres offense picked the worst time to fire blanks as the loss leaves the Padres on the verge of playoff elimination.

The loss guarantees the Giants at least a share of the National League West title and leaves the Atlanta Braves with a magic number of 2 to clinch the NL Wild Card. Of course, with the Padres coming into San Francisco this weekend for a three-game set, a Padres win still would have left them needing a sweep to make it into the playoffs.

The Giants will send out Matt Cain, Barry Zito, and Jonathan Sanchez to battle Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer, and Mat Latos for the NL West crown. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves host the Philadelphia Phillies looking to lock up the wild card. The Phillies have locked up home field for the playoffs (record and NL victory in All Star Game) and thus might very well rest some of their starters. The Phillies are actually throwing out rookie Vance Worley to help line up their postseason rotation.