I know, I know. What a brutally tragic way to start your work week.
After yesterday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs’ hopes of making the 2014 playoffs – on the strength of an undefeated rest of the season, coupled with the 1 in 1 million perfect outcome of every other game played by every other team the rest of the way – were dashed. The Cubs have been eliminated from playoff contention. Elimination from the division came a few days ago, and from the second Wild Card came yesterday.
Functionally eliminated many months ago, there was not actually any realistic hope for a playoff shot this year, and we’d all long accepted that. So, elimination day is something of a non-story – one that hopefully doesn’t arise next year at all, and, if it must, hopefully arises no earlier than the final day of the season.
If it feels like this elimination is coming later in the season than in the recent past, that feeling would be correct: in 2013, the Cubs were eliminated about a week earlier, and in 2012, the Cubs were eliminated just about the same time as in 2013. Those were the only two other seasons played in the second Wild Card era, so the Cubs maybe made some incremental progress this year.
Of course, the Cubs have already bested their 2012 record by four wins, and, with one more win, they’ll tie the 2013 output. So, yeah, incremental progress.