PHOENIX The Diamondbacks were playing two teams Friday, the Cardinals and the Cubs, and only the Cardinals refused to cooperate. By the time the D-backs took the field, they were eight runs down.
Two time zones east, St. Louis removed what little suspense remained from the final week of the regular season by scoring nine runs in the first two innings against Washington, using that start to nail down the final NL wild-card berth and eliminate the defending NL West champion D-backs while they batted in the last of the fifth inning.
Moments later, Aaron Hill doubled in a run and Justin Upton followed with a two-run home run and a 5-2 lead, lifting Ian Kennedy to his 15th victory in an 8-3 win over the Cubs at Chase Field.
The D-backs entered their final homestand with an almost impossible hill to climb, six games behind the Cardinals with six games to play, but that did not make it any easier to confront an offseason that begins Thursday.
"When it is all said and done, the...