With the win, the Cubs move to within 2.0 games of the Pirates, and hold open their tiny remaining chances in the NL Central. Also, the CubsĀ have now takenĀ the season series from the Pirates regardless of their final three-game series, which is notable because, if the two teams finish tied for the top Wild Card spot, the tiebreaker for home-field advantage is the head-to-head record. (That said, it seems impossible that the Cubs would finish tied with the Pirates unless they win at least one or two of the games in that three-game series anyway.)

The Cubs’ bats erupted for 9 runs on 17 hits, and they put the Pirates out of the game in the middle innings, especially with how the Cubs’ bullpen shut things down. The long and middle relievers have been dominating lately, in relative contrast to some of the latter inning arms. It’s interesting. And it’s good.

sept 17 box

Full box score via MLB.com.