After a long roller coaster ride of a season, the Chicago Cubs had one more hill to go over before their train made its way into the return station, their next ride in October awaiting them.
With identical records to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs played game 163 at Wrigley Field Monday afternoon, with a chance at their third NL Central Division Championship in a row.
Sadly, their issues that have plagued them all year came into full, depressingly poetic fashion.
With a dismal outing of three hits, the Cubs batting summarized the inconsistency it has faced all year, and their famed (almost aggressive) defense couldn’t hold a Brewers lead back for too long.
This has been a roller coaster of a season, with almost nothing to rely on like the previous three years. Going into October, recent Cubs teams have remained constant or trending upward, and this is a season of ups and downs.
On a team plagued with injuries and hitting inconsistency of massive proportions, manager Joe Maddon has managed to keep this team together just enough to remain in first place right up until the end of the season. The magic number shrunk, but never cut down quickly enough, in many ways because Milwaukee gave no help. The Brewers have finished their season on fire.
Although a loss Monday was inconvenient, postseason baseball is still upon them.
The Cubs will be taking on the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley, first pitch at 7:05 CT on Tuesday night (ESPN). It will be the single-elimination NL Wild Card Game, a win gifting Chicago a rematch with the Brewers, this time in a National League Division Series, and a loss ending their season barely after October’s start, a thing that Cubs fans have ironically found to be apart from the mean. Baseball is boring? Of course not, and definitely not now. At least Jon Lester, the Cubs most successful pitcher this 2018 season, gets the start on the mound.
There’s only one thing to do at this point, and that is just get on for the ride. It’s gonna be a difficult one for the nervous and cardiovascular systems.