The number of good remaining races is dwindling, but the NL Central lead for the Cardinals is shrinking and the AL wild card race remains hotly contested. Plus, we're getting down to the last few days of the season and individual stat races can be fun. Let's check out what's happening on Wednesday in Major League Baseball action, shall we? 

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Baseball scores for Wednesday, September 25

Cardinals hold on NL Central tenuous; Brewers clinch playoff berth

After dispatching of the Cubs with a four-game sweep over the weekend, the path for the Cardinals to the NL Central title seemed clear. Now, however, it's another matter. The Brewers basically never lose, even without MVP candidate Christian Yelich, and the Cardinals dropped their second straight game in Arizona Wednesday afternoon. 

This one was a gut punch, too. The Cardinals held a 5-2 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth. They would then cough up seven runs in a disaster of an inning. 

Just about the same time the Cardinals' loss was coming to fruition, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun hit a grand slam: 

The Brewers ended up winning 9-2, which trims the deficit in the Central to 1 1/2 games with the Cardinals' magic number stuck on three for the third straight day. On Sept. 5, the Brewers were 7 1/2 games out, by the way. They've only lost twice since then against 18 wins. 

The Brewers will play Thursday in Cincinnati with the chance to move to just one game back of the Cardinals, who will be idle. Then it's off to Colorado for the Brewers for the final three games while the Cardinals face what's left of the Cubs, who will surely have shut down Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez for good by then. Still, the Cubs likely want at least some level of retribution. 

Speaking of the Cubs, with the Brewers' win, the Cubs will officially miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014, back when Bryant was still in the minors. The Mets were also officially eliminated as the Brewers and Nationals have claimed (at least) the two wild card spots. The Cardinals could end up there if the Brewers topple them. 

Greinke flirts with perfecto, no-no

The top two finishers in AL Cy Young voting are going to be from the Astros in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, in whatever order you'd like to slot them. Their number three playoff starter just nearly threw a no-hitter. 

Greinke's change was dropping off the proverbial table all night and his command was impeccable. He was mixing in the eephus-like curveball in the mid-60s, too. He just had everything working. 

Greinke was actually perfect through six, but a walk to Dee Gordon in the seventh ruined that. The hit from Austin Nola in the ninth ruined the no-no, but it was still an amazing outing.

Greinke has long been one of the best pitchers in baseball and he's going to have a Hall of Fame case before it's all said and done. Now we look forward to the playoffs and realize he's going to be the third-best pitcher on the top overall seed. That's something. 

Bad night for Indians

The Indians lost to the White Sox with Shane Bieber on the hill while the two teams they were chasing won ...

Twins clinch Central

Thanks in part to two more homers, the Twins beat the Tigers and then watched from the clubhouse in Detroit as the Indians lost, setting off a celebration the franchise hasn't seen since 2010. The Twins are the AL Central champions in 2019. Full story here

Rays gain ground

Charlie Morton took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Yankees managed just one hit against Rays pitching. The Rays pick up the win, meaning they move to 1 1/2 games up on the Indians in playoff position with only three games to play (the Indians have four left). The chances of the Rays missing the playoffs now are pretty low. The Indians have an uphill battle with the Rays' three remaining games coming against the Blue Jays while the Tribe will have to deal with the Nats. 

Back to the Indians

... So, yeah, that was a really rough night for the Indians. The desperation AL Central win is now officially off the table and they probably need to win out to grab a wild card. Heck, even that might not be enough. As noted, the Rays play the Blue Jays while the Indians have three games in D.C. to close the season. While the Nationals have clinched a playoff berth, they surely want to retain the top wild card spot because the Brewers are just one game over .500 on the road and unreal at home. My hunch is the Nats try in the final series. 

I'd call the situation in Cleveland dire at this point -- and one can't help but look back at a 3-1 World Series lead over the Cubs and then losing in the ALDS after winning 102 games the following season and wonder what might have been with this core. 

Alonso hits number 51

Pete Alonso has long since set the Mets' club record and NL rookie home run record, but he's now eyeing the MLB rookie record of 52, which was set by Aaron Judge in 2017. Wednesday, Alonso hit his 51st homer of the season. 

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