Cubs’ playoff hopes vanish before they complete 10-6 victory over Brewers

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 30: Chicago Cubs second baseman Christopher Morel (5) celebrates his home run during a game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs at American Family Field on September 30, 2023 in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Larry

Yan Gomes hit a grand slam, but the Chicago Cubs were eliminated from postseason contention during a 10-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

Chicago’s game was going into the eighth inning when Miami finished its 7-3 victory at Pittsburgh, securing an NL wild card and knocking the Cubs out of the playoff race.

It looked as if the Cubs were in good shape for a wild card when they improved to 78-67 with a 5-4 victory at Colorado on Sept. 11. But they dropped 11 of their next 15 games.

Before Saturday’s victory at Milwaukee, they had lost four in a row by a total of five runs. They also had dropped nine straight road games.

Chicago (83-78) spent the top of the first inning taking out its frustration on Eric Lauer (4-6), who was making his first major league appearance since May 20 with the NL Central champion Brewers (91-70) resting their top starting pitchers.

On Lauer’s third pitch, Christopher Morel hit a 431-foot drive over the wall in left. Lauer walked three of his next four batters before Gomes connected for his 10th homer. Two batters later, Patrick Wisdom homered to right-center to make it 6-0.

But for the second time in five nights, the Cubs blew a 6-0 lead. This one vanished in just two innings.

Milwaukee’s Willy Adames hit a two-run double to highlight a three-run rally against Jordan Wicks in the bottom of the first. Blake Perkins delivered a two-run homer and Carlos Santana added a tying solo shot in the second before the Cubs removed Wicks, who had allowed no more than three runs in any of his previous six starts.

The Cubs regained the lead by scoring twice in the fourth, despite having two runners thrown out at the plate. Ian Happ hit a tiebreaking RBI single and Cody Bellinger added a run-scoring double.

Lauer allowed eight runs, nine hits and four walks in four innings.

Hayden Wesneski (3-5), Javier Assad and Jameson Taillon combined for 7 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Wicks. Taillon worked four innings for his first career save.


Cubs 2B Nico Hoerner rested after fouling a ball off his left knee Friday night. The Cubs say he has a bruised knee.


LHP Justin Steele (16-5, 3.08 ERA) pitches for the Cubs and RHP Adrian Houser (7-5, 4.32) starts for the Brewers on Sunday afternoon.