CHICAGO – If they end up missing the playoffs, it could be their division rivals that are well out of the playoff race that ended up costing them a spot.
While the Cubs have struggled most of the time since the trade deadline, they’ve managed to save their best for the Reds – and did so again on Wednesday evening.
This time, they did so in dramatic fashion to finish off the last match-up of the clubs in the 2021 season.
Jason Heyward’s walk-off three-run homer in the tenth gave the Cubs a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati at Wrigley Field. It’s the team’s eighth victory in nine games in what has been a dramatic change of fortune over the past two weeks.
That has come at the expense of the Reds, whom the Cubs took 2-of-3 from this weekend, keeping their Central Division foes a game behind the Padres for the last Wild Card spot.
In fact, since the trade deadline on July 30th, the Cubs are 5-1 against Cincinnati, taking 2-of-3 at Great American Ballpark from August 16-18. The first of those victories helped the team snap a 12-game losing streak, which was their longest since the 2012 season.
What’s odd about that is that the Cubs struggled with the Reds for most of the season before August, having lost seven of ten games to Cincinnati. That included losing 3-of-4 games at Wrigley Field in the days leading up to the July 30th trade deadline, including the last games for core players Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo.
But the tables oddly have turned when the franchises have met while going opposite directions, with the Cubs embracing their role as spoilers late in 2021.