Sweet mercy, the Cubs have only one more series to play against the Brewers.
After stealing the Central over the final month of the 2018 season, the Crew have swapped their first place crown for what looks to be a third place frown. You never want to tempt karma, but the Brewers are all but out of the division race, currently sitting 6.5 games back of the first place Cardinals.
Milwaukee’s shot at October baseball runs straight through the Cubs, whom they trail by four games for the second NL Wild Card spot. The Cubs weren’t able to put the final nail in Milwaukee’s coffin last weekend at Wrigley Field, but they’re hoping to do so in the series to come.
That’s a distinct possibility, as this season has exposed the Brewers’ vulnerabilities more than ESPN’s Body Issue exposed Christian Yelich. As flawed as Milwaukee might be, though, they always manage to give the Cubs everything they can handle. Early August’s series sweep aside, the Cubs have generally had their hands full with the Brewers and have compiled an 8-7 record against their neighbors to the north.
While the Cardinals may represent the ultimate mountain for the Cubs to overcome given the current divisional standings, ending the playoff hopes of these Brewers would represent a cathartic release and would go at least some distance in exorcising the demons of last year.
Given Yelich’s recent exposé, I can think of only one way to celebrate if the Cubs manage to win the series.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Thursday, September 5 at 6:10pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Friday, September 6 at 7:10pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Saturday, September 7 at 6:10pm CT on WGN
- Sunday, September 8 at 1:10pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago
What to Watch For
- This will be the Cubs’ final test against veteran left hander Gio González, who you can probably guess has fared far better against the Cubs than he has against other opponents. In 19.1 innings pitched over four starts, he has compiled 18 strikeouts and a 1.40 ERA. The Cubs will be hoping to channel Game 5 of the 2017 NLDS, a game in which they knocked González around for three runs in as many innings.
- José Quintana is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his Cubs career. Over his last seven starts, Quintana is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched. Q has developed a reputation for big outings against Milwaukee and this would be a great time for him to continue that trend.
- The Cubs will be hoping that a couple of days off will do Kris Bryant some good. Bryant’s knee caused him to be scratched on Tuesday and may be contributing to his recent struggles. Bryant is batting .243/.317/.414 over his last 30 games and, while his overall numbers still look solid enough, he is looking for improved results down the stretch.