Cubs and Brewers battle for the NL Central title Monday

CHICAGO - This season, 162 games weren't enough.

The Cubs won 95 games, and so did the Brewers. The team from Chicago beat their rival from Milwaukee in 11 of 19 regular season contests, but seven-straight victories by the latter got them to even in the final weekend of the season.

So Monday, just after Noon, both teams will play an extra game at Wrigley Field in an attempt to settle a winner for the National League's Central Division.

It's the famous Game 163 - the ultimate regular season drama in Major League Baseball.

It's just the third time the Cubs have played an extra game at the end of the season to determine a championship or playoff berth. In 1908, the second of three Cubs' World Series titles, the team won a make-up game against the Giants 4-2  on October 8th at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant.

Twenty-years ago this past week, on September 28, 1998, the Cubs beat the Giants in the one-game Wild Card tie-breaker 5-3 at Wrigley Field.

This year is a little different. No matter what happens on Monday, both the Cubs and Brewers are headed to the postseason. Each team owns the best record in the National League, but the loser of the tie-breaker will be forced to play the Wild Card game on Tuesday.

The winner of this tie-breaker gets the next two days off before facing the team that wins the Wild Card playoff in the National League Division Series on Thursday.

At least Joe Maddon's team got a taste of the pressure on Sunday when they had to win to just get the shot on Monday. They fell behind to the Cardinals 2-0 in the first inning at Wrigley Field as the Brewers were beating the Tigers at Miller Park after the first frame.

But the Cubs stormed back to score four runs in the third, four more in the fifth, then two in the sixth en route to a 10-5 win the earned them a shot at the division title. Milwaukee got there by crushing the Tigers 11-0 to sweep their second-straight series.

"We know what's at stake. We needed to win today by all means, and tomorrow the same thing," said first baseman Anthony Rizzo of Sunday and Monday for the Cubs. "When we come in, we've got to be ready to play and we will be. The atmosphere here should be nothing short of electric."

Cubs players on this team are used to this, having played in three-straight National League Championship Series and winning the World Series in 2016. This season, like others, has its own characteristics unique to this particular journey.

From a slew of early rainouts to injury problems with Yu Darvish, and the month without a day off from late August through last September, this path to the postseason has certainly tested an already experienced group.

"It's been a long but great season," said outfielder Kyle Schwarber of 2018. "You look at especially the last couple of months where we've had some rain, and all that the '30-in-30' days and stuff like that. For us to be where we're at right now, we definitely like where we're at."

It's a spot that they've rarely been in their franchise's history, making Monday's Game 163 an event to behold.

Tickets to the game are still available and can be purchased online, or in person at the Wrigley Field Box Office and over the phone starting Monday morning at 8 a.m.

For more ticket information, go to: www.mlb.com