The Cubs haven’t been mathematically eliminated from either of their hoped-for playoff races at this point, but let’s be quite honest: losing to the Cardinals again yesterday, while also watching the Brewers win again, was pretty much the death blow.
We haven’t had to think about “elimination numbers” in many years. But the Cubs don’t have a “magic number” anymore, they just have the elimination number. For the division, it’s two: any combination of wins by the Cardinals or losses by the Cubs that add up to two, and it’s over. And since the teams play each other today, that means the Cubs are eliminated if they lose today.
For the Wild Card, the Cubs are 3.0 games behind the Brewers and 4.0 games behind the Nationals. Their elimination number is five, with seven games left. Even if the Cubs win six of their last seven, they still probably get eliminated, because it’s hard to see the Brewers winning only three games the rest of the way.
Yes, that’s how dire things are now: even if the Cubs win every single game the rest of the way, they still probably don’t pass the Brewers, and the best they could realistically hope for at that point is a TIE for the second Wild Card spot with the Cardinals.
The Brewers finish up with the Pirates today before heading to Cincinnati. The Nationals finish up with the Marlins and then host the Phillies.
Root for a monumental Brewers/Nationals collapse at this point. That’s really all you can do. Oh, and maybe root for the Cubs to end their five-game losing streak?
It’s *almost* enough to make you laugh.