Christian Yelich's bid to become the first NL Triple Crown victor since 1937 appeared to fall agonizingly short after Sunday's regular-season finale. He has 109 RBIs, two behind leader Javier Baez of the Cubs, and Yelich's 36 home runs are one behind Nolan Arenado of the Rockies.
Will the Dodgers head to the playoffs as a Wild Card team or as NL West champs? No matter what happens on Monday, both the Cubs and Brewers are headed to the postseason.
So of course, it's going to extra innings. That is, leading the league in average, home runs and RBI.
The NL West winner advances to a best-of-five Division Series against Atlanta starting Thursday, and the NL Central winner moves on to a Division Series against the winner of Tuesday's wild card game.
"Just like the last couple weeks, we've approached nearly every one of these games like a do-or-die game", Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said. "Obviously, it will be a challenging place for us to go and win but we're playing good baseball and if we go in there and do the things we've done over the last couple of weeks we'll forget about where we are".
The victor at Wrigley gets a spot in the division series and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Tickets for the game will go on sale at 7:30 Sunday night at cubs.com. "If we win it, we'll be ecstatic". But, as Maddon pointed out after the game, in the much more high-pressure situation that will be Monday, being the team to score early will be more vital.
Chicago had a five-game lead on September 2, but Milwaukee won seven straight and nine of 10 overall to finish with a 95-67 record.
Obviously, it won't be easy, but Yelich has a clear path to become the first NL Triple Crown victor since Joe Medwick of the Cardinals 81 years ago. "They are a great team". Bullpen issues have always been a concern for the Cubs, even in the year they won the World Series, but the implosion that we've witnessed over the course of the last month should be grave cause for concern on the North Side. "It's only fitting that we have to do one more".
Hamels (4-3) was a tough-luck loser, dropping his third straight start after going 4-0 in his first nine outings following a trade from Texas. Quintana is 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA in six starts against Milwaukee this season.
"He's pitched really well against us all year", Yelich said.
If any of you would like a note to provide to your boss/teacher/parent so you can be excused from work/school/chores, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide it for you. "It should be a fun one".
Brewers manager Craig Counsell didn't immediately announce a starter Sunday.