ST. LOUIS -- Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee on Sunday, and the Brewers earned a playoff spot via help on the West Coast.
St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and will open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning Sunday, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days, as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a COVID-19 outbreak in the clubhouse.
"You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys," Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs."
The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth when the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis' victory. The Giants finished with an identical record to the Brewers' but lost on a tiebreaker because of an inferior intradivision record.
"It's fitting for 2020 and everything we went through," Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. "It felt just as good as past years. This year's a unique one. There's so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don't deal with in a normal year."
Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that starts Wednesday.
The Brewers haven't had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston are the first teams to qualify for the MLB playoffs with losing records.
"It's a celebration," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We're in the playoffs. That's how you see it. There's no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs."