The Cubs lost late yesterday, which does suck. The series was great, and the competitiveness of the Cubs against the best team in baseball in their house was also great. But the fact of the loss – and the way it happened – was inarguably a bummer, as it took the Cubs’ small-but-not-utterly-impossible Central division hopes and converted them to not-technically-utterly-impossible-but-yeah-basically-impossible Central division hopes.
The Cubs are 7.5 back of the Cardinals, and that’s probably that.
Unfortunately, the Pirates also won last night, holding on to beat the Reds, with an assist from some really dicey calls behind the plate (which sent Joey Votto into an extreme rage spiral). The Pirates’ lead over the Cubs is now back up to 3.0 games for the top Wild Card spot and the home field advantage that will come with it.
As for the second Wild Card spot, the Cubs had a good day, despite losing. That’s because both the Giants and Nationals lost, shrinking the Cubs’ magic number to 15. The Nationals loss, at home to the Mets, was once again a crusher, losing late, and dropping to 7.0 games behind the Mets in the East. That’s probably that, too.
The Cubs’ lead remains 9.0 games on the Giants (10 in the loss column) and 9.5 on the Nationals.