Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

MLB 2016 Game #13: Pirates vs. Cubs

Chicago Cubs fans can safely talk about magic numbers once again. The magic number needed to clinch the National League Central Division title is 19. That means any combination of Cubs wins or St. Louis Cardinals losses totaling 19 mean the Cubs are returning to the postseason.

They needed all of last night and a small portion of Tuesday morning, but the Cubs rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-7, in 13 innings. After dropping the last two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs returned home to face their division foes.

Tonight, I make my final scheduled trip to Wrigley Field during the 2016 season. The Pirates (67-62, .519) sit in the NL Central's third slot and find themselves 15.5 games behind the Cubs. The Cubs (83-47, 638) hold a 14-game lead over the second-place Cardinals.

The Pirates will send Chad Kuhl (3-1, 3.50 ERA), a 23-year-old right-hander, to the mound. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks (12-7, 2.19 ERA), a 26-year-old righty. Hendricks currently sits atop the major leagues with the lowest earned run average. Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants is second with a 2.49 ERA.

(Not So) Fun Fact: The last time I saw Kyle Hendricks pitch was on August 13 against the Cardinals. Hendricks pitched seven innings and allowed only two earned runs, but the bullpen imploded as the Cardinals won 8-4.

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