MLB 2012 Game #12: Astros vs. CubsWhenever I've attended the final game of the baseball season, more times than not, the games lacked significance. Neither team was involved in a pennant race. Individual players weren't in pursuit of a particular career statistic. There are exceptions to every rule. I sat in Wrigley Field's upper deck for the National League Wild Card tiebreaker game between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs in 1998. The Cubs won only to suffer a three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves during the National League Division Series. Another was the final game of the season between the Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008. The Cubs already clinched the National League Central title, but the Brewers were battling for a wild card berth. The Brewers needed to win and the New York Mets needed to lose their game at Shea Stadium. Here's how that game played out.
Today's game between the Houston Astros and Cubs holds no such meaning. In fact, you can call it irrelevant. Both teams have lost a combined 207 games this season (Astros 106, Cubs 101). With all of that losing, why did I want to see today's game? This is the final game the Astros will play as a member of the National League. Since their inception in 1962, originally known as the Houston Colt .45s, they'd been a member of the Senior Circuit. Next season, they will call the American League West home. As a result, this move will radically alter how team schedules look. Interleague games will occur every day next season.
For their final game in the NL, the Astros will send Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15 ERA) to the mound. The Cubs will close out their season with Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39 ERA).
Then it's off to Game #13 this evening in Milwaukee.