Brewers, Dodgers Win Their Divisions in Game 163
Published on 1-Oct-2018 by Alan Adamsson
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The most interesting pennant races in years also produced two of baseball's more unusual one-game tie-breakers.
Their downside was a soft landing. The losers didn't go home.
Not yet, anyway. That's gonna happen tomorrow.
The winners, of course, are breathing an elated sigh of relief.
While the American League division races were foregone conclusions long, long ago, the National League scrambles were so close that two of their three pools ended in dead heats:
- The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers finished at 95-67 in the NL Central, and
- The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers closed at 91-71 in the NL West.
Never has there been a need for a pair of Games 163.
The stakes were actually higher in the Cubs-Brews showdown.
The winning club would get home-field advantage as long as it stayed alive in the NL post-season. The loser, of course, would move to the do-or-die Wild Card game, but at least it'd be the host.
In a game that was as close as the NL Central battle was all season, Milwaukee took it, 3-1:
Was the Brew Crew's pickup of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain the move of the off-season or what?
When the new Marlins owners dismantled their incredible outfield, Yelich was the third to go after Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. They were the big names who went to higher-profile clubs.
Yelich took a look around after that, saw the barreness that was left, and asked to escape.
Better yet for Milwaukee, dude's contract is under team control through 2022, and if this was his breakout season, the Brews got an awesome deal.
In the other dugout, the Cubbies have gotta be frustrated. They led the division for much of 2018, and now, they could be gone in a game after being gone in this game.
Their mid-season acquisitions of Daniel Murphy and Cole Hamels were excellent upgrades. As much of a fall as Chicago suffered in September, they might not even be here without those two.
Out West, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts figured if September call-ups were limited to players on their 40-man roster, he'd simply mobilize the whole damn batallion.
Los Angeles won the Manny Machado sweepstakes and he's had his moments, but the Bums are still waiting for him to turn it up to 11 like he did with the Baltimore Orioles.
Still, the Dodgers did enough to get to this game and then took out Colorado, 5-2, to win their sixth straight NL West title:
An extremely potent Rockie attack was simply shut down, save for Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story giving a hint when it was too late.
They'll get more opportunities at Wrigley Field tomorrow. For Colorado's sake, they'd best make the most of them and invite their friends to do the same.
Milwaukee and Los Angeles have earned the right to prove their case in five games. For Colorado and Chicago, the consolation prize is better than nothing.
But for one of them, it will soon be nothing.