The Cubs thumped the Cardinals yesterday 9-0, which was alone enough to make yesterday a good one. The Cubs pulled to within 7.5 of the Cardinals, keeping their faint NL Central hopes alive.
But it gets better.
The Reds helped the Cubs out by beating the Pirates 3-1, though the Pirates helped themselves to that loss with four errors in th game. The loss brought the Cubs to within 2.0 games of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot, and, with seven head-to-head games left, the Cubs taking that top spot is extremely possible.
On the second Wild Card, the Cubs look good, too. That’s because both the Nationals and the Giants lost yesterday. That stretched the Cubs’ lead to 8.5 games on the Nationals and 9.0 games on the Giants. Yes: the Cubs are now closer to the Cardinals than their Wild Card competitors are to them.
In other words: if you’re a pessimist and you think it’s unrealistic that the Cubs can come back to pass the Cardinals in the Central, you should be logically consistent and say that it’s unrealistic that the Cubs will lose their grip on the second Wild Card spot.
For me, I say that each scenario is possible, though highly unlikely. If the Cubs win the next two games in St. Louis, of course, then we can really start dreaming.
The Cubs’ magic number for the Wild Card dropped two yesterday to 18 (with respect to the Nationals). The Phillies were eliminated, in case you were worried.