Mark Prior pitched a gem today. Nine innings, 3 hits, 16 strikeouts, one run.

Meanwhile, the Cubs faced three Reds pitchers with ERAs of 4.86, 5.21, and 6.94. Grand total: One run.

So it’s extra innings again, and we’re back to praying for the bullpen. How long, oh Lord, must we endure?

Update: Another game blown by the relievers. Reds 2, Cubs 1 in 12 innings.

Cubs now trail the Astros by a full game with three to play. With a win tonight, the Giants can tie the Astros for the lead in the wild card race. (With a loss, the Padres are suddenly just two games out of the wild card!)

The Giants finish against the Dodgers, which is good. But the Astros get the mediocre Rockies, while the Cubs finish with three against the Eastern Division champs, Atlanta.

The fat lady isn’t singing just yet, but I can hear her warming up down in the left field bullpen.

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