Well well…remember what I said before the Cubs went off to Arizona?
Right now, there is a 2.5 game NL Central lead with a magic number of 11. Just get to Thursday without anyone else getting hurt and with at least that lead intact, and I believe the Cubs are in good shape.
Except now, the magic number is 8, and the Cubs retain the best record in the National League despite the stupidity of this past month of games.
Since Aug. 21:
30 scheduled games
0 days off
2 postponed games
1 suspended game
Don't ask how many hours of rain delays
4 waffle irons
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 20, 2018
So, now what? Each of the top three NL Central clubs has Thursday off, while both the Brewers and Cardinals get the 27th off before their final series of the season (the Cubs have their series finale against the Pirates that day). Now, the Cubs have a winning record against every one of the division rivals except for the Cardinals, although that could change once we get to that last series (and could change against the Pirates, too, the series before). I suppose we can hope that both the Brewers and Cardinals lose out, and beat the hell out of each other in their last matchup later on next week. I imagine we won’t be the only ones doing the scoreboard watching given that nothing has been clinched yet, although that magic number is shrinking incrementally if the Cubs take care of things themselves, or they get some help.
While it would be difficult to go 10-0 to end the regular season, it wouldn’t hurt to send some positive vibes to the Cubs as they have seven very winnable games before they have to host the Cardinals to finish out their slate. In the meantime, a little help would be nice, as we root for the Pirates this weekend (but they can lose when they get to Wrigley), and the Tigers at the end to beat the Brewers. Let’s also root for the Giants to beat the Cardinals. And like I said before, let every Brewers-Cardinals game last 40 innings and result in them being tied for the Wild Card or something. Whatever makes the Cubs’ magic number go down, that’s what we root for.
It would be fantastic if the Cubs wrap up the division one way or another. That way, they get to set their rotation for the NLDS while getting an extra off day while their opponents have to duke it out in the winner-take-all Wild Card game. That would be appropriate karma given that Thursday would be their last off day until the season ends.