Chicago Cubs get 2016 NL Central Title after Cardinals Lose to Giants

Chicago Cubs get 2016 NL Central Title after Cardinals Lose to Giants

A St. Louis Cardinals loss to the New York Giants helped the Chicago Subs win the 2016 NL Central title for the first time since 2008.

After writing about how good they were about a month ago, the Chicago Cubs finally got the 2016 NL Central title. This was despite them losing to the Brewers 5-4 in their home court Thursday. Thankfully, the Cardinals lost to the New York Giants in San Francisco in the same night.

Duking it out with the Brewers

Before the game against the Brewers even started, people were already buzzing about the possibility of the Cubs clinching the 2016 NL Central Title. However, it became evident that this was going to be a give away for the visitors. Cy Young candidate Jon Lester and prized closer Aroldis Chapman didn’t play a single inning. Instead Cubs coach Joe Maddon opted to go with Mike Montgomery as his starter. The move resulted in Montgomery scattering 4 hits in the 6 innings he pitched. One of these also happened to be a Keon Broxton homerun and an Orlando Arcia hit that gave the Brewers a two-run double. Montgomery did manage to redeem himself a little when he hit a single to center that helped the Cubs tie things up at 3-3 in the 4th inning.

On offense, the Cubs also missed MVP candidates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Bryant only had 5 ABs in the game which resulted in just 1 hit. As for Rizzo, he only had 1 hit to show for his 3 ABs. Even with these two missing, the Cubs were still competitive. This was thanks to performances by Addison Russell and Jorge Soler. Russell had a hit which Soler then followed up with a homer to give the Cubs an early lead in the bottom of the 2nd.

Inevitable

Truthfully, I’ve always thought that the Cubs would inevitably win the 2016 NL Central title. The division simply wasn’t that competitive. Even if they lost 10 in a row at this point, they’d still somehow manage to clinch. Prior to the game against the Brewers, Chicago had a sizable lead in the win column over the Cardinals who came in second in the division. At this point in the season, they’re really just pacing and keeping their bullpen healthy. Case in point, Aroldis Chapman didn’t even play in that loss to the Brewers.

Should The Brewers Win Concern You?

As I said earlier, the loss to the Brewers is just the Cubs pacing themselves for the playoffs. If anything, the loss was great because it’ll keep the team on edge. Additionally, it would be a great reminder for them that even though they won the 2016 NL Central Title, they’re still susceptible to losing.

Just the Start

Entering the playoffs, the Cubs are now considered the favorites for winning the World Series. As of now, pundits are placing their current odds at a formidable 9/4. Not bad for a team that has cooled down from its initial strong start. With that being said, this should only be the start for the Cubs. Yes, winning the 2016 NL Central title is admirable. However, that’s not going to mean anything if they can’t follow through in the post-season. In an interview after the Brewers game, Joe Maddon further echoed this sentiment. The Cubs coach noted that the team had “much larger baseball fish to fry” in their “skillet”.

Still, props must be given to this Cubs team for going this far. From just being in the wildcard last year to getting an NL Central now, that’s already a huge accomplishment. Of course, if they really want a perfect ending to this season then they’ll need to win the big games in October.

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