Cubs clinch spot in NLCS with Game 4 win, eliminate St. Louis Cardinals from playoffs

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Cubs clinched a postseason series at Wrigley Field for the first time ever, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday to win the NL Division Series in four games.

Cubs Win! Photos of players, fans celebrating


"This is gonna be a great run. We're going to go all the way," Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said minutes after the game ended.

Only once since they last brought home the World Series in 1908 had the Cubs won a playoff series and never before had they finished off the job at their century-plus-old ballpark.

"We just beat the best team in baseball. What an accomplishment. The Cardinals are the best organization in baseball, the second best organization in baseball. That was fantastic," said Kevin Carter, a Cubs fan.

The crowd started roaring before the first pitch. And when closer Hector Rondon struck out Stephen Piscotty on a ball in the dirt and catcher Miguel Montero made the tag to end it, the Cubs came streaming out of the dugout.

Anthony Rizzo's solo drive to right off losing pitcher Kevin Siegrist in the sixth put Chicago back on top 5-4 after St. Louis scored two in the top half.

And if the fans were roaring at the top of their lungs after that home run, they were really screaming after Kyle Schwarber's monstrous shot leading off the seventh. The ball seemed to disappear, possibly clearing the videoboard in right or hitting the Budweiser sign above it. Chopper7HD spotted a ball atop the videoboard, just below the 'i' in the Budweiser sign.

Kyle Schwarber's screamer of a home run almost dotted the "i" on Wrigley's Budweiser sign.



The late drives by Rizzo and Schwarber along with Baez's three-run homer off John Lackey in the second came after Chicago set a postseason record with six long balls in Monday's win.

VIDEO: The lucky fans who took home Cubs' home run balls


And with the ball flying out again, the Cubs won for the 12th time in 13 games.

The Cardinals tweeted their congratulations to the Cubs Tuesday night, and the Cubs responded with a video of manager Joe Maddon taking off his hat.




Even President Barack Obama gave the North Side team a shoutout on Twitter.



Mayor Rahm Emanuel congratulated the Cubs in a written statement: "On behalf of the City of Chicago, I am proud to congratulate our Chicago Cubs on their victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to advance to the National League Championship Series. The fact that they took care of business here at Wrigley in front of the most patient and passionate fans in the world was all the more special. Their magical playoff run continues to rally our city and bring out the true spirit of Chicago. One series victory down, two more to go. #FlyTheW!"

The Cubs are headed to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2003. They beat Atlanta in the NLDS that year, but then lost in seven games to the Marlins. Chicago dropped those final two at home, including the infamous Bartman defeat in Game 6.

The Cubs will face the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Mets matchup. The Mets took a 2-1 lead into Game 4 Tuesday night. Chicago will play Game 1 Saturday on the road.



POLICE, BAR TACTICS KEEPS WRIGLEYVILLE CELEBRATIONS IN CHECK

As fans streamed out of Wrigley Field to celebrate, Chicago police shut down Clark Street between Addison and Newport to traffic and pedestrians.

Like puzzle parts, police maneuvered barricades into what amounted to a giant cork in the middle of Clark and Addison, plugging the opening to the Wrigleyville bar corridor-where most of the trouble usually occurs.

When the game let out, 40,000 fans were funneled in opposite directions. Some fans tried to cajole their way past police, but most followed orders to keep moving.

The tactic - the handiwork of CPD Deputy Chief Steve Georgas, who runs the special functions unit - was a success. It's a plan they used during NATO and other large outdoor events.

There were the familiar casualties of over celebrating, but by 9 p.m., bike units and the police mounted patrol cleared Clark Street, street sweepers moved through and Wrigleyville was back to normal.

No arrests have been reported so far in the Wrigleyville area, meaning the win for the Chicago Cubs was also a win for the Chicago police.

At the Cubby Bear, the door staff said they instituted an "exit only" policy just after the end of the game, which they adhered to for most of the night. Some patrons were seen entering, but only after several other customers had left.

Fire department officials also walked up and down Clark Street to make sure bars were not over capacity. A fire official said a couple of bars had been cited for being too crowded, but for the most part, establishments were complying.

Liquor stores in the area were also asked to stop sales earlier than normal.

Before the game ended, police said that the 40,000 fans inside Wrigley Field would not be allowed to enter the Wrigleyville bars that lie south of the ball park on Clark Street. Some bar owners apparently took to social media to grumble about the post-game barricade that kept fans from their bars.

REVERSING THE CURSE?

What would a Cubs playoff run be without talk of curses? Evan Marinis brought his goat "Littleton" to Wrigleyville on Tuesday night, hoping to reverse the curse.

"The majority of people are really excited, they love to see him, they love to take pictures. And you've got the very few people who are like, get the goat out of here, but you know what, he's reversing the curse and it's working," Marinis said.

Marinis said he plans to bring the goat back to Wrigleyville next week for the NLCS.



WRIGLEY AREA PARKING RESTRICTIONS

The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications asked fans to be mindful of the community surrounding Wrigley Field and to celebrate the playoff series safely.

OEMC officials reminded fans of full-day parking restrictions in the city's Wrigleyville neighborhood on Tuesday.

-Clark from Belmont to Irving Park Road, both sides of the street
-Sheffield from Belmont to Irving Park Road, both sides of the street
-Addison from Halsted to Southport, both sides of the street
-Racine Ave. from Grace to Belmont, both sides of the street
-Cornelia Ave. from Halsted to Sheffield, both sides of the street
-Wilton Ave. from Cornelia to Addison, both sides of the street

If vehicles are towed, fans should call 311 for help.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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