I still expect this to come down to the wire, but you know... you gotta jump on the good when you can.
Last night there were opposite spankings in the NL Central.
One took place in St. Louis, where the then 55-69 San Diego Padres handed it to the Cardinals 12 to 4.
The other took place in Cincinnati, where the Cubs came from behind to whack the Reds 13-9, and it shoulda been 13-6 but Maddon (smartly) left Felix Pena in for the last 6 outs and he gave up a couple dingers.
But last night a couple things happened.
First, Javier Baez' at bat in the 7th.
With the Cubs down by 2 runs, with two outs and the bases loaded, you're thinking oh man - Baez will either homer or strike out...
Yes he's been the shining stud lately but you can't help thinking like that.
And then... instead Baez showed how his bat is maturing.
Down 0-2, he... lays off some balls.
With each pitch you and I are off the couch and getting closer to the tv.
Works it full.
Just that was kind of a victory.
I think he fouled the next pitch off, and then hits a broken bat single to right field that scores Anthony Rizzo and Alex Avila game tied at 6.
Ben Zobrist then pinch hits and 2 more score, Cubs up by 2.
In the top of the 8th, the Cub bats became sort of mean as Cinci's relief corps, or what was left of them last night, were just overmatched.
The Cubs scored 4 more before the first out of the inning.
And at the end of the night, the Cards sank to 4.5 games behind the rising first place Chicago Cubs.
The Brewers won so they're just 2.5 back, but for the first time in a long time it feels like there's just a bit of breathing room.
It would be really really fabulous if they could just keep the pedal on the metal and make the breathing room become just... normal atmosphere.