(Craig Counsell’s celebration interrupted by questions from a reporter)
The Milwaukee Brewers finished the season with eight-straight wins and the eighth is the one that won the Central Division title over the Chicago Cubs. It was a battle like many others this season between the two teams and when the smoke cleared, it was the Brewers coming out on top, 3-1 over the rival Cubs.
The win gave the Brewers the best record in the National League at 96-67 and guarantees them home field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. The Cubs, with a 95-68 record, the second best in the National League, but it gets them nothing more than a spot in Tuesday nights wildcard game.
If the Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies in tonight’s wildcard game, they would meet the Brewers in Milwaukee in the first round NLDS starting Thursday night at Miller Park.
The Brewers went 20-7 since the first of September and trailed the Cubs by five games on Labor Day and 3 1/2 games on Sept. 18. At that point in time, most followers believed the Brewers were playing for a wildcard. But the Brewers themselves never gave up on the division.
The Cubs hosted game number 163 because they won the season series 11-8. Chicago fans invested heavily in their team by purchasing tickets at Miller Park during the regular season. Brewers fans did the same for game 163 on Monday. They were plentiful and boisterous throughout the game.
Christian Yelich didn’t win the triple crown, but he still won the batting title, going three for four with an RBI. Chants of MVP! MVP! could be heard throughout the day. Yelich should be a shoe-in for that award.
Jhoulys Chacin held the Cubs to one hit and one run in 5 2/3 innings. Both came on Anthony Rizzo’s deep home run to right in the fifth to even the score 1-1. But the Brewers bullpen took over and held the Cubs in check.
Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun delivered run scoring singles in the 8th to give the Brewers the lead and the eventual victory.
It meant the Brewers would have a second celebration. They celebrated in St. Louis when they clinched a playoff spot. They celebrated at Wrigley Field after knocking off the Cubs to win the NL Central.
They’re the hottest team in the National League going into the playoffs. Now we’ll see if they can stay that way.
- File/Photo credit to Bill Scott, WRN