* The Cubs snapped a nine-game postseason losing streak (stretching back to the 2003 NLCS) with Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Pirates in the NL wild-card game. Jake Arrieta tossed a four-hit shutout in the win, with 11 strikeouts and no walks; it was the first complete-game shutout by a Cubs pitcher in the postseason since Claude Passeau in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series against Detroit.
* St. Louis went 11-8 against the Cubs during the regular season, including a 7-3 record at home. The clubs have never previously met in the postseason.
* The Cardinals won an MLB-high 100 games this year (100-62), their ninth season all-time reaching the century mark (first since 2005). They reached the World Series in seven of those previous eight seasons, winning it four times. No National League 100-game winner has won the World Series since the 1986 Mets (108-54).
* Chicago hasn’t reached the World Series since 1945 (lost 4-3 to Tigers), and famously hasn’t won it since 1908 (4-1 over Tigers). The team’s .345 all-time postseason win percentage (29-55) ranks as the worst of any MLB franchise.
* Kyle Schwarber became just the third Cubs rookie to homer in a postseason game with his third inning two-run blast on Wednesday against Pittsburgh. The others were Frank Demares (1932 WS) and Geovany Soto (2007 NLDS).
* In four career Division Series starts (all with the Red Sox), Jon Lester is 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA (5 ER/27.2 IP). He made five starts against the Cardinals in the regular season, going 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and .216 batting average allowed.
* Yadier Molina’s 86 career postseason games played rank first among active players, and 10th in MLB history. His 89 hits (89-for-307, .290) are second only to Albert Pujols (90) among actives.
* John Lackey posted a career-best 2.77 ERA this season, while also winning 10 or more games (13-10 record) for a 13th consecutive season – the second-longest active MLB streak (Mark Buehrle, 15). Lackey’s 18 career starts in the postseason are tied with CC Sabathia for the most among active pitchers (7-5, 3.08 ERA).