2023 Gameday Thread
Despite a victory over the Brewers in the penultimate game of the season, the Cubs found themselves eliminated from the final NL Wild Card spot as the Marlins defeated the Pirates. The final game of the season will have no playoff stakes--but it's always nice to end on a win and send a rival to the postseason with a little whiff of failure. The Cubs will rest Justin Steele and give Drew Smyly the start. Look for role players and youngsters to get some opportunities as well. Adrian Houser, 7-5, 4.32 ERA, will start for the Brewers.
Ian Happ brought the Cubs back with a solo shot before Chicago fell to the Brewers in an extra innings defeat. They had a strong chance to put up multiple runs in the tenth but couldn't collect a single hit to drive home Swanson and Morel from second and third. The Cubs go into their final two games 1.5 behind the Marlins and tied with the Reds. With disadvantage in both potential tiebreakers, the Cubs must win both remaining games and need two losses from the Marlins and one from the Reds--any other outcomes render the final game moot.
The Cubs enter the final series of the season half a game out of the final NL Wild Card spot. A devastating sweep in Atlanta puts them in a difficult position. And the fact that they played each game closely against the best team in the majors comes as little consolation--particularly as defensive miscues and a depleted bullpen can be blamed for each loss rather than the petty baseball fates. The Cubs have an uphill climb as they take on the NL Central leaders. Mere weeks ago, fans could hope that the Cubs would come into this series with a chance to knock the Brewers off of that hilltop.