Just like their last series against the Cardinals, the Brewers avoided the sweep, so at least there’s that.
In so doing, the Brewers helped the Cubs pull back to within 2.0 games of the Cardinals in the NL Central, and pulled themselves back to the “oh, I don’t know, I guess *maybe*” level of 5.5 games back.
I thought the Cardinals’ perspective after the loss was an interesting echo of the way the Cubs used to talk about dropping the finale of a series they could have swept (Cardinals.com): “Any time you can win a series, it’s huge. To expect a sweep at this level is tough. Getting them is amazing but winning series, that’s the No. 1 goal.”
None of that is wrong, of course, but the Cubs’ experience makes me wonder if there’s a tiny bit of a letdown in game three when you’ve taken the first two, and you preach the idea that winning the series is the main goal. The Cardinals have had seven series this year already where they won the first two games, and then lost the third in what would have otherwise been a sweep (five three-game series, two four-game series). Of course, they’ve also had a ton of sweeps, so who knows.
Meanwhile, in the Wild Card race, everyone of note – except the Mets – won, so it’s pretty much status quo, with the Cubs 3.0 games back of the Nationals for the top spot, and the Phillies 2.0 games back of the Cubs.
The Cardinals are off today before hosting the Reds this weekend. The Brewers are off while they await a trip to Wrigley Field this weekend.