wrigley scoreboard featureWhile I’m still of the mind that Wednesday’s loss to the Cardinals effectively closed the book on the Cubs’ realistic chances of coming back in the NL Central, crazy things do happen. And, even if they didn’t, it remains important to track both the Cardinals and Pirates because it’s possible the Pirates could pass the Cardinals, making them the Cubs’ Wild Card opponent.

About that, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’d prefer, given that a one-gamer against Gerrit Cole makes me much more nervous than a one-gamer against … Lance Lynn? Michael Wacha? Carlos Martinez? John Lackey? Jaime Garcia?

Ahead of that, though, I think a home game for the Cubs against the Pirates is probably the best realistic Wild Card Game setup, rather than a road game in St. Louis. Your thoughts?

In any case, both the Cardinals and Pirates lost last night. The Cardinals got blown out by the Reds, and the Pirates dropped a 13-inning, multi-comeback affair against the Brewers. That’s obviously all good news, but it’s your reminder that “bad” teams beat “good” teams all the time. The Cubs are a “good” team about to play four against a “bad” team.

The Cubs are now 7.0 games behind the Cardinals, and 2.5 games behind the Pirates. The Pirates are 4.5 games behind the Cardinals.

The other plausible Wild Card contenders were not in action yesterday.

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