Bang the gong for just the sixth time in like way over a month, because the Cardinals finally lost a game – a ridiculous back-and-forth affair with the Giants, who tried so very hard to give it away.
They did not, and thus the Cubs pick up a half-game on the Cardinals, shrinking the NL Central deficit to 2.5 games. I’ll take it.
The Cubs’ deficit behind the top Wild Card spot also shrank, as the Mets somehow bounced back from their cataclysmic blown loss to the Nationals to win yesterday. The Cubs are 3.0 games behind the Nationals at this point.
The Cubs also got a boost in their Wild Card lead for the second spot, with the Reds beating the Phillies. That lead is now 3.0 games, which means the Cubs are closer to the NL Central top spot than they are from falling out of the playoffs entirely. That’s nice, right?
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have quietly rocketed up to a tie with the Phillies thanks to a 9-1 stretch (so much for trading away Zack Greinke, eh?), and they might actually be the team to worry about behind the Cubs. Nice bonus ahead? They get to host the Cardinals for three games just before the Cubs/Cardinals final series of the year. Here’s hoping the Diamondbacks are still fighting at that point.
The Cardinals now conclude their home series against the Giants this afternoon, while the Cubs head to Milwaukee this evening. The Nationals kick off a series in Atlanta.