For the 13th time in the last 14 tries, the Cubs took care of business on their end yesterday, beating the Brewers 9-2 with an onslaught of homers. Eventually, they’re going to lose. Maybe even multiple games in a row. Brace yourself now so that it doesn’t feel so strange when it happens.
Even the Cardinals lose sometimes. They finally did that last night against the Pirates 10-5, so the Cubs gained a game in the Central. They’re now 7.5 back of the Cardinals, which is the closest they’ve been since they took the second game of that early July doubleheader against the Cardinals at Wrigley. The next night, they lost on the two-out, two-strike Jhonny Peralta homer (sorry for the reminder), and it was a downward trend from there, reaching a peak of 11.5 back during the Phillies sweep (and staying 11.5 through their mid-series loss to the Rockies a couple days later). It’s kind of ridiculous that the Cubs have lost just once since then, and they’ve gained only four games. If the Cardinals had gone .500 or worse during that stretch, the Cubs would be right there in striking distance.
Instead, if the Cardinals keep up their pace of late, the Cubs would have to keep up their insane pace of late just to have a chance to pass the Cardinals in late September. Of course, there are still some head-to-head games left ….
With the Pirates win, by the way, they remain 1.5 games ahead of the Cubs for the top Wild Card spot. They’re still 6.0 behind the Cardinals.
Speaking of teams that never lose, the Mets won again over the Rockies, as they continue to obliterate the soft stretch in their schedule. They’ve lost just twice since July 31, and have stretched their NL East lead to 4.5 games over the Nationals.
That’s because the Nationals lost, dropping them not only to those 4.5 games behind the Mets, but also to 7.5 games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot. They are now as far behind the Cubs as the Cubs are behind the Cardinals. Claiming a Wild Card spot at this point seems very unlikely, and they’ll instead have to overtake the Mets (who would be 3.0 games behind the Cubs if they were right now in the Wild Card race).
The team that beat the Nationals was the Giants, who held steady at 4.5 games behind the Cubs. The Dodgers lost to the Reds, though, so the Giants climbed to within just 2.5 games of the lead in the West. If the Dodgers were in the Wild Card, they’d be 2.0 games behind the Cubs.