I regret nothing.
But, for seriously, though, thanks to the Pirates for coming back last night and then walking off on the Brewers, salvaging a day that otherwise saw the Cubs lose handily to the Rays. The feel of heading into this weekend’s big series against the Brewers is very different at 3.5 games ahead than it would have been at 2.5 games ahead.
The Brewers loss pushed the Cubs’ magic number down a click, even as the Cubs themselves didn’t win:
(I got a little heat for not using Andre Dawson there, but I like to have some fun with the numbers this time of year to also flash to players who might bring back good, random memories for you.)
The Cubs weren’t the only team appreciating the Pirates’ efforts (and, very humorously, the Cubs were liking the thanks):
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 21, 2017
It wasn’t all good news in the Central, as the Cardinals won again, bringing them back to within 5.0 games of the Cubs. It prooooobably won’t matter, but I’m still keeping a side eye on them. The Cubs’ magic number with respect to the Cardinals, specifically, is 7.
Elsewhere, the Rockies lost for the third straight game, so the Brewers held steady at 1.0 games back of the second Wild Card spot, and the Cardinals climbed to 2.5 out. Of note, the Cubs are 2.5 games ahead of the Rockies, so it is still plausible that, if the Cubs were passed by the Brewers, the Cubs might stay ahead of the Rockies and take that second Wild Card spot. Obviously we don’t want to see that there is a backup spot available if things go sideways.
Up next, the Cardinals are finishing a series today with the Reds, as the Cubs and Brewers begin their four-game set in Milwaukee tonight. The Rockies head to San Diego.
By the way: the Nats pulled to within 3.5 games of the Dodgers for the top NL spot (and the right to play the Wild Card winner in the NLDS). We’re keeping tabs …