The Chicago Cubs entered Thursday night with their magic number sitting at one. Any combination of a Cubs win or St. Louis Cardinals loss would clinch the National League Central division for them.
When a late rally against the Milwaukee Brewers fell short, resulting in a 5-4 loss; the Cubs clubhouse turned their eyes to the Cardinals, who were visiting the San Francisco Giants for a four game series. They didn’t have to wait long as the Giants disposed of the Cardinals, securing the NL Central for the Cubs.
This is the first NL Central title for the Cubs since 2008 and while most of Wrigleyville was asleep when the final out in San Francisco was recorded, it didn’t take long for the iconic neighborhood to wake up. What started as some one-off cheers and car horns honking, eventually set off a mini celebration in the streets of Chicago. The famous Wrigley Field Marquee was even updated to celebrate the division title.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 16, 2016
While the division title is a nice honor for the team that has been the best in the majors all season long, this city has expectations of a World Series win. “We’ve got a lot ahead of us. We really do,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said . “It kind of all boils down to how you perform in October.”
If the Cubs do meet expectations, it will bring home the first World Series win for the franchise since 1908 – the longest drought in Major League Baseball. The Cubs also have a string of 12 first place finishes in the division that have not resulted in a World Series win – another record-setting drought.
But Cubs fans are confident this is the year that all ends.