Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley scoreboard featureI still don’t feel all that bad about the Cubs’ loss yesterday.

Sure, the loss ended the Cubs’ slim hopes of climbing back in the NL Central, but even if the Cubs had won yesterday, their chances were going to be extremely slim. Once you set that part aside, what you’re left with is the Cubs winning a second straight series against the best team in baseball … how can you be upset about that? Because they were in a position to sweep both series? I guess if you want to dwell on that, you could. But, if you were going to do that, then you should also dwell on the two-out, two-strike loss in July on the Jhonny Peralta homer. And the game the Cubs lost after going up 5-0 on the Cardinals back in May. And if the Cubs had won those four games, they’d actually be ahead of the Cardinals by 2.0 games instead of behind by 6.0.

You don’t really want to dwell there, do you? DON’T MAKE ME DWELL THERE.

The Pirates won again, taking two of three from the Dodgers out West in a series that they had to face both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, so good for them. That bumps their lead over the Cubs for the top Wild Card spot back to 2.0 games. You’d love to see that down to 1.0 games coming into their weekend series with the Cubs at the end of this week, because then a 2-1 series win means the Cubs and Pirates would be tied (and the Cubs hold the tiebreaker).

The Pirates are also just 4.0 games behind the Cardinals in the Central, and a reminder that, if they finished tied with the Cardinals, those two teams have to play a one-game playoff to determine who wins the Central, and then who immediately thereafter must play the Cubs in the Wild Card Game. Thus, you must be rooting very heavily for the Pirates right now, and against the Cardinals.

… but then, we want the Cubs to pass the Pirates, so … it’s complicated.

The Giants and Nationals both won yesterday, too, so no magic number shrinkage for the Cubs. It’s still at 5, but it’ll go to zero soon enough.

The Cubs welcome the Brewers to start this week, the Cardinals host the Reds, the Pirates go to Colorado, the Giants go to San Diego (tomorrow), and the Nationals host the Orioles.

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