The Cubs beat the Cardinals earlier on Friday evening, which put Chicago’s NL Central lead at 1.5 games over the Brewers, and meant a Brewers loss tonight would have given the Cubs essentially four tries to clinch the division over the weekend.
The Brewers, meanwhile, close the year out with three-game series at home against the lowly Tigers, who are on pace to lose nearly 100 games despite playing an unbalanced schedule full of equally abysmal AL Central teams. (How one division features three teams with 96-102 losses and another with 84 is mathematically baffling.)
But, because it’s baseball, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win, and the Brewers found themselves tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 8th inning. That’s when Ryan Braun hit an opposite field fly to right that wound up in the glove of Nick Castellanos.
Fortunately for the Brewers divisional hopes, that’s not where it finished:
— MLB (@MLB) September 29, 2018
Baseball is a mysterious game. But hey, if there’s one person who deserves ridiculously lucky breaks, it’s someone who’s done everything the right way his whole career like Ryan Braun.
The Brewers won, meaning the Cubs lead remains one game with two games remaining for each team. It seems likely that Milwaukee and Chicago will end up with the two best records in the National League, with one of them being relegated to the Wild Card game. And a 163rd game to decide who ends up there remains very much a possibility as well.
Or maybe the Cubs clinch tomorrow! Who knows!
No matter what happens, though, we’re not likely to see a play weirder than this one in the few remaining days of the 2018 regular season.