Morning Box Score: Cubs Conclude Season With A Loss

The Cubs dropped their last regular season game 3-1 on Sunday and helped the Milwaukee Brewers win the wild card In an effort to shake off any rust from their recent rests, most of the starters saw action today but only Ronny Cedeno produced a run. It was pitcher by committee as the Cubs trotted seven different pitchers to the mound, none throwing longer than two innings, and Bob Howry earning the loss. A two-run Ryan Braun homer in the eighth put the Brewers ahead for good.

Next for the Cubs? Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who come to town for games one and two of the NLDS. The Cubs finished the regular season 5-2 against the Dodgers (wait a second - the Cubs played the Pirates 19 times but played the Dodgers only seven times? Yeah, makes a whole lot of sense to us) but all of those games came before the Dodgers landed Ramirez, who revitalized the team in the second half. Soriano agreed, saying, "When they got Manny, they were a totally different team. I think Manny is a great ballplayer, and he changes the whole lineup. I know they have a very good starting rotation, and we're ready for it."

Some other interesting factoids from the 2008 regular season:

• The Cubs pitching staff finished leading the Major Leagues in strikeouts for the eighth straight season with 1,264.

• The 97 wins are the most since the 1945 team went 98-56-1. That year is the last time the Cubs were in the World Series.

• The Cubs led the NL with 855 runs, the third time they've eclipsed 850 runs in the past 109 years.

• The ballclub batted .278 as a team, and this is the first time it's posted that high an average since hitting .287 in 1937.

Also, if you're going to the games, get ready for a wacky schedule. Game one on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. and game two starts at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night. Because nothing says playoff baseball like playing well past midnight. Thanks, TBS!

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