Chicago Cubs know all too well what a Wild Card game loss feels like

(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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An improbable turn of events played out late in the National League Wild Card game, bringing back memories of last year’s loss for the Chicago Cubs.

It has been one year, nearly to the day, since I sat in the stands at Wrigley Field and watched the Chicago Cubs lose the NL Wild Card Game to the Colorado Rockies. Given how the season ended, it was hardly shocking – but I still couldn’t help holding out hope, right down to that final out.

On Tuesday night, the 2019 postseason kicked off. It’s safe to say that this game set the tone for October, perfectly mirroring Major League Baseball’s ‘We Play Loud’ campaign that kicked off earlier in the day on social media.

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In the early going, it looked as if the Milwaukee Brewers would be taking their first step toward reaching the World Series Milwaukee Brewers postseason history.

But an eighth-inning rally against Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader, capped by a Juan Soto base hit and a misplay in right field ended those hopes – sending the Washington Nationals to the NLDS for a date with the Los Angeles Dodgers

"“He (Soto) has done it all year for us,” former Cubs bench coach and current Nationals skipper Dave Martinez told MLB.com. “That’s why he’s a cleanup hitter. He makes good at-bats, and he comes through when we need him to come through. He’s been unbelievable all year for us.”"

Just like that, the Brewers will head back to Wisconsin to clean out their lockers. The team put together an improbable September run in the wake of Christian Yelich‘s season-ending injury. Their hot finish derailed the Cubs’ season for the second time in as many years, leading many to question the new pecking order in the National League Central.

Milwaukee outplayed their peripherals all season long. Chicago finished the year with a +97 run differential, while the Brewers ended 2019 at +3. Yet, at the end of the day, Craig Counsell‘s club reached the postseason while the Cubs moved on from Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein signified that major changes are looming.

While it means nothing in actuality, I really enjoyed this from our friends over at Bleacher Nation following last night’s Wild Card game. (For the record, I’d be all for history repeating itself next season).

It’s hard saying what’s next for Milwaukee. You can’t sleep on them any longer. Not given how the last two years played out. But they have a lot of questions in their pitching staff, catcher Yasmani Grandal is sure to decline his option and hit the market and next year’s adjusted September roster rules are sure to throw a wrench in how Counsell manages late-season contests.

Cubs looking to re-tool, not rebuild this offseason. dark. Next

Last fall, Epstein and the Cubs were able to push past doubts surrounding the team and its Wild Card game loss. After all, they won 95 games – that had to count for something, right? So after Milwaukee won 89 games in 2019, they’ll have to look long and hard in the mirror and get back to work in the offseason, hoping to avoid a similar fate to this year’s Cubs in 2020.

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