It was indeed wild on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, but the NL Postseason picture is finally set.
Two seasons ago, the Chicago Cubs historic World Series drought came to an end. The pain was over and the lovable losers were finally winners. Now the new World Series drought will enter a third year following a stunning loss in the NL Wild Card to the Colorado Rockies.
It’s only a truly shocking loss if you look at the team names. Nothing about this last month for the Cubs suggests they should have made it into the postseason, and their season ending with a whimper is all the proof you need that this team wasn’t meant to hang. There will inevitably be grumbling about the idea of the Wild Card, and the optics of a team that won posted the best second-best record in the league not making the NLDS isn’t great but neither are the optics of anything the Cubs did up to this point.
All Chicago had to do was win one of their last two — games they hosted at Wrigley — and couldn’t manage to do that. Don’t blame the Wild Card for the Cubs collapse, if anything thank it for saving us from whatever disaster that likely awaited against Milwaukee.
Here’s a look at how things stand with one Wild Card game in the books:
What’s Next For Chicago?
A lot of reflection before making some big decisions this winter. Chicago desperately needs to figure out what’s going on with its pitching, a problem area that dates back to 2016. It seems every winter the Cubs are searching for a closer, but there are so many other areas of need to address. Will Yu Darvish remember how to be a starting pitcher? Can the Cubs find another top starter to really round out its rotation? Is there anyone on the market that can plug the holes in the bullpen?
On top of all this will be the $400 million Bryce Harper question. Will the Cubs spend even more gobs of money to further pad a superteam that has played in one World Series since being anointed the next baseball dynasty? There are so many crucial questions big and small for the Cubs and that will be a defining narrative heading into a long offseason.
What’s Next For Colorado?
There will be downers among you that try to poo-poo the idea that the Rockies belong in the Postseason. Don’t let that negativity ruin what is an amazing team to watch.
Colorado entered the postseason winning 9-of-11, including a tiebreaker game in Los Angeles last night. This was the Rockies third game in their third different city in as many days — that’s outrageous. The fact that they took a team that many thought would hold the No. 1 seed out of the running is about as big a confidence boost as a team can get.
Going up against Milwaukee — a team that has similarly gotten hot at the right time — is going to be a damn fun series to watch. Christian Yelich is white hot right now and the Brewers have been infected with his swagger in ways that helped them surge to a 20-7 record in September. Colorado has proven, however, that it is battle tested and ready for a challenge. The Rockies already knocked off the second-best team in the National League and now have their sights set on toppling the Brewers as well. Di you watch this team on Tuesday night? Guys like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story are Stars waiting to blossom under the bright lights of the postseason. They might not have it in them to pull off a miracle run to the World Series, but at the very least we should get one of the most entertaining series of the entire postseason right out of the gate.