Although last night’s loss got sufficiently silly in the moment that I could shrug it off, as of this morning, I’m fairly annoyed about it. Yeah, returning from late West Coast game to play the next day, after the high of a no-hitter, and it was probably a tough physical game for the Cubs. Still, they scored six runs and lost to a team that had won just twice in its previous 16 games. Not ok. Just one game. But not ok.
The Giants also lost last night in a 14-inning marathon to the Dodgers, which means the Cubs’ 5.5-game lead in the Wild Card held steady. The rub there, though, is that the Giants have a stupidly easy schedule for the next month except for a handful of games against the Dodgers. The Cubs, on the other hand, have about a 50/50 split of really tough and really chumpy opponents. The 5.5-game lead gives them a buffer, but the Cubs really need to put together a strongly-winning record against the Reds/Phillies/Brewers types that they play the rest of the way to offset how the Giants are likely to play down the stretch against the Rockies/Padres/Reds/A’s types.
The Cubs’ playoff odds are still in the 93% range after yesterday, but a nice stretch of winning would easy my anxious mind.
I’ve already mostly stopped pining for a miracle run in the Central for the Cubs, but in case you are still holding out hope, the Cardinals won again last night when the Nationals completely choked the game away.
In sum: September is here, and we’re having detailed conversations about being anxious about the Cubs in a playoff race. That’s pretty awesome.