The Cubs won again last night, sweeping the Mets, and taking the magic number progression into their own hands.
It dropped another click, and landed on one of the best numbers of all:
So, since it landed on Ernie Banks, perhaps we can be happy that it didn’t drop two spots, since the Cardinals won again. The Brewers were off, so the Cardinals pulled back into a second place tie with them, 3.0 games back of the Cubs.
To say that this weekend’s series against the Cardinals is a big one is so obvious as to warrant not saying at all. I regret, therefore, having said it.
Just as it was last weekend against the Brewers, the one thing the Cubs REALLY can’t afford is to be swept. A series loss would not be good, but it would leave them with still two games on the Cardinals (and at least one game on the Brewers), and less of the season for the Cardinals to make that up. Win the series, and that’s a four game lead. Sweep it? And the Cardinals are toast.
Get swept, and suddenly, there’s a first place tie. I don’t want to think about that right now.
Each of those Cardinals and Brewers are just 2.5 games back of the Rockies for the second Wild Card spot, so they also have that to fight for right now.
Elsewhere in baseball, the Indians did it again, and this time in dramatic fashion – down to their final strike, Francisco Lindor tied the game in the bottom of the 9th with a double, and then Jay Bruce won it in the 10th:
Incredible. Indians tie it with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, and then walk it off for their 22nd win in a row! pic.twitter.com/j0wImZ0JH3
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) September 15, 2017
Depending on your choice of record, that was a record-breaking 22nd straight win for the Indians, besting the 1935 Cubs (OK, Indians, you can have that one).
I hope baseball fans – and especially Indians fans – are able to appreciate just how incredible and fun this 22-game winning streak is, *totally irrespective of what happens in the playoffs.* I worry that, in some ways, this streak will wind up remembered as a bad thing if the Indians don’t win it all. Which is, of course, wholly ridiculous and a failure to recognize that October baseball is not always a reflection of the things that came before. And, for these Indians, what came before was historic.
Insane fun fact, though: the Dodgers still have three more wins this year than the Indians.