The Pirates closed our their home portion of the schedule last night with a tie with the Cubs. You read that correctly, ties can happen in baseball. It’s the Pirates first tie since 1998 and the first tie in MLB since 2005. Ties are not reflected in the teams final record, making me wonder—what’s the point?
The Pirates and Cubs were tied 1-1 with one out in the top of the 6th inning when the game was called due to rain. The Cubs have another series this weekend, and the Pirates head to St. Louis to end the season so there’s that. Now had this game mattered for playoff implications, the Cubs would have to return to PNC Park on Monday to finish this game. I think the Cubs should have to come back regardless and finish this game. There’s more to play here in these games than just playoff implications. There’s the draft order for teams not making the playoffs and there are contracts which the players rely on a full season of stats to prove their worth to teams. The Indians and Tigers game yesterday was also cancelled due to inclement weather and they will play Monday if the Tigers need it to get into the playoffs. But what about the Indians seeding? What about ticket money? Every team should have to play a full 162-game season. If there’s too many games, MLB, then shorten it back to 144 (with more built-in off days to make up rainouts) or 154 games. Either way what a fitting way to close down PNC Park this year—with an anti-climatic soggy tie.
Ivan Nova made perhaps his last start as a Pirates pitcher and gets a 5.1 inning complete game, a cheapie but his third CG in 11 starts with the Bucs. He struck out five Cubs in this one. Overall with the Bucs, he went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA, three complete games and a 2.62 FIP. He walked just three batters in 64.2 innings with the Pirates. As for the offense, Eric Fryer and David Freese were the only ones to record hits for the Pirates, both singles and the Pirates scored on a Josh Bell sac fly that scored Fryer with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 3rd. Andrew McCutchen had a chance to give the Pirates the lead, but grounded into a double play to end the inning. It was McCutchen’s 15th GIDP this season, a career high for him.
The Pirates head to St. Louis to close the 2016 season with a three-game series with the Cardinals. The Bucs have a shot to play spoiler and keep their rival out of the postseason this season as the Cards enter this final series just one game back of the Giants for the second wildcard spot.