The Cubs took care of business on their end last night, but what about the other teams in the NL playoff races?
The Cardinals and Pirates started a huge NL Central series, with the Pirates’ hopes of overtaking the Cardinals hugely impacted by the swings in this one. The first game, though, went to the Cardinals 4-3. That put them up six full games on the Pirates, who may need to win the last two games of this series to have a realistic shot of coming back in the division.
Of course, I say that, but, if the Pirates lose these two games, they’ll be only eight games back … or a half-game better than where the Cubs currently stand in relation to the Cardinals. So, yeah.
The Pirates loss, then, put the Cubs a game closer to the top Wild Card spot – they’re now just 2.5 out from home field advantage in that game. It’s probably not a huge thing, but I suspect it does matter. Also, frankly, it would be really cool to have that game at Wrigley Field. Mostly I just want to see the Cubs pass the Pirates because it makes it all the more likely that the Cubs will at least hang on to one of the Wild Card spots.
Maybe, then, it’s best to just root for the Cardinals in the series? I actually go back and forth on this, because there’s that tiny part of me that thinks the Cubs can pull off a miracle run and come back in the Central. It’s just so, so unlikely, though.
So I’ll just root for a couple really long, draining games. Maybe split the remaining games, with the Cubs beating the Brewers, so the Cubs can gain a game on each team from here.
Back to the games with Wild Card implications, the Dodgers finally won a game that helps the Cubs, beating the Nationals 5-0. The Nats are now 5.5 games behind the Cubs.
The Giants, however, remained 3.5 games behind the Cubs by beating the Astros 3-1. Hey, Astros: you’re supposed to be really good. Show it.
The Mets continue to feast on their now very-weak remaining schedule, beating the Rockies 4-0. They’ve got a 2.5 game lead in the East over the Nationals at this point, which is fine with me – one of the two teams can run away with it so long as the other team slumps.