With last night’s win, we can now say the Cubs have won two of three, rather than focusing on how they’d lost five of six. Hooray for almost entirely arbitrary distinctions to make ourselves feel better!
Speaking of feeling better, the Cubs’ win was paired nicely with a couple losses in the Wild Card race. The Dodgers held on late to win 2-1 over the Giants in a matchup of Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner. The Pirates lost 7-4 to the Brewers, which is a reminder that, yes, the Pirates do occasionally lose, and it even happens against bad teams from time to time.
Random, crazy bit on the Pirates:
Pirates now have a losing record vs every other NL Central team this year after losing to MIL. They are 58-21 against the rest of baseball.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 2, 2015
Thanks, Brewers and Reds, I guess.
With the Giants and Pirates losing, and the Cubs winning, the Cubs’ lead over the Giants grew to 6.5, and their deficit behind the Pirates shrank to 4.5 games. Each number is getting close to a level where you simultaneously feel confident about the Cubs’ chances of warding off the Giants, and chances of overtaking the Pirates.
On the latter, the Cubs do have seven games remaining against the Pirates. If the Cubs can go, say, 5-2 in those games, they’d have only 1.5 games to make up throughout the entire final month of the season. It can be done.
Meanwhile, the Nationals choked away yet another game against the Cardinals – that’s two in a row they could have won after having a two-run lead in the 7th or later – who are 40(!) games over .500. The Cardinals could have a losing record from here on out and STILL reach 100 wins. Their season has been perverse.
Their lead over the Cubs stands at 10.5 games. Their lead over the Pirates, who are themselves on pace for 98 wins, stands at 6.0 games.