All signs point to Joe Maddon operating as a lame-duck manager with the Cubs in 2019.
Though the Cubs' postseason run ended earlier than the team hoped, the loss in last night's NL wild card game doesn't seem like it will lead to a change in the dugout. It's a shame he didn't get the win on this night.
"I don't know if there is anybody better in the big leagues in a situation like this", said Cubs infielder Daniel Murphy, who faced Lester in the 2015 playoffs with the Mets and the 2017 postseason with the Nationals.
This time, it was Kyle Freeland cruising through Maddon's lineup. The Denver native looked quite comfortable in his first career playoff appearance, helping his hometown team bounce back from Monday's NL West tiebreaker loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
As Arenado applied the tag in the middle of the base path between second and third, Baez wrapped his arms around him.
Scott Oberg, who went 8-1 in the regular season, got the win after entering the game with two outs and no one on base in the 12th.
There was an MVP chant for Charlie Blackmon.
Gore instead faced a 3-2 count and struck out, and so did Baez and Almora, ending the game.
Lester then limited the damage by striking out Story and Matt Holliday with LeMahieu on third.
The Cubs had a long line of injuries and didn't get the contributions they expected from some key players, including Yu Darvish and Kris Bryant. The free-swinging slugger drove it into the gap in left-center for a tying double, easily scoring Gore from second and sending a charge through the crowd. Butera was also 0 for 2, but he drew a walk.
"I felt like it grazed me a little", Gore said, "but clearly, it didn't".
Major League Baseball announced the first part of the 2018 postseason schedule Tuesday.