PITTSBURGH – A season that had promise into June, faded in July, and has gone along without hope for the playoffs the last two months is finally coming to an end for the Cubs.
Their final week included six games against division opponents, with none of them having bearing on the playoff race. Like the Cubs, the Pirates have been eliminated from the playoffs, and when they visit the Cardinals this weekend, they’re facing a St. Louis team that’s already clinched their Wild Card spot.
Locked into the second spot, they’re just waiting to see if they face the Giants or the Dodgers on Wednesday, October 6th for the right to move onto the National League Division Series.
About the one thing left for the Cubs to play for is preventing a season where they don’t reach 70 wins, which hasn’t happened since 2013 when they got just 66.
They weren’t able to get closer to getting past that mark on Tuesday in another up-and-down game at PNC Park.
The Cubs fell behind 3-0, then took a three-run lead, then lost that and the game in an 8-6 decision to the Pirates that hands them a 90th loss on the season. It’s the first time that’s happened in eight seasons, again occurring in 2013 when the club was in its second year of the Theo Epstein rebuild.
Colin Moran’s three-run homer off Alec Mills put the Pirates up 3-0 but the Cubs rallied in the third with RBI singles from Frank Schwindel, Matt Duffy, and Nick Martini. In the fifth, an Ian Happ single, Duffy’s double, and a sacrifice fly by Martini put the Cubs ahead 6-3.
But in the sixth, Mills loaded the bases to being the inning and was pulled for Adam Morgan. He couldn’t stop the bleeding, as the Pirates struck for four runs to grab the lead. Moran’s RBI single in the lead expanded the lead to two.
There would be no comeback this time, as the Cubs’ final week of 2021 started on a bad note.