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The Yankees were eliminated, and either the Cubs or Pirates are next

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Wednesday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the Pirates-Cubs Wild Card Game, the Yankees' loss to the Astros and why losing in the playoffs will suck for your team. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

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The American League had its Wild Card Game on Tuesday, with the slumping Astros taking on the also slumping Yankees, and New York ended up the loser. On Wednesday, the NL takes its turn, with the Cubs heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in the last elimination game we'll see for a bit in these MLB playoffs. The Cubs get all the attention for their 106 years without a championship, but the Pirates haven't won since 1979, so there is plenty of drought to go around.

This one has a chance to be all about the pitchers, as it's Cy Young hopeful Jake Arrieta against Gerrit Cole, who in any other year would likely have the same hopes. Cole posted a 2.60 ERA over 208 innings, and managed these feats by somehow dropping his walk rate even further without giving up too much on the strikeout side.

Those are impressive figures, but they pale in comparison to what Arrieta has done in 2015: on the season, the Cubs' ace has a 1.77 ERA, has allowed the fewest hits and homers per nine in the league, all while striking out nearly five times as many batters as he's walked.

What should terrify the Pirates, who are in Baseball Thunderdome for the third time in three years, is that Arrieta only allowed four runs total during the final two months of the season. That worked out to a 0.41 ERA over his last 12 starts and 88 innings, in which he cut nearly an entire run off his already ridiculous season ERA.

How either the Cubs or Pirates will manage to get a hit on Wednesday is a question only the typical oddities of baseball can answer, but both clubs certainly have the talent to make it happen. Still, this has all the makings of a low-scoring affair, and that's perfect for a scenario where one of these teams is guaranteed to be done for the year after about three hours of trying to avoid that fate.