PITTSBURGH — Well, yes, there are ties in baseball.
The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates played to the first tie game in the major leagues since 2005 when rain forced the teams to stop in the sixth inning Thursday night with the score 1-all.
The NL Central champion Cubs and Pirates aren’t scheduled to play again this season, and the game won’t be made up because it doesn’t affect postseason positioning.
So instead of becoming a suspended game, the stats count and it was declared a tie — the first since Houston and Cincinnati went seven innings on June 30, 2005, before rain halted them.
“A tie, I don’t remember every being involved in one at the major league level,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s definitely something different.”
The Cubs weren’t around to talk about it as they were already dressed and out of the clubhouse by the time they game was officially called following a delay of 1 hour, 23 minutes.
Willson Contreras had two hits and scored for the Cubs, who have already clinched the best record in the majors.
Tim Federowicz hit a sacrifice fly in the Cubs second. Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly for the Pirates in the third.
Cubs rookie Rob Zastryzny gave up one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings in his first major league start after beginning his career with seven relief appearances.
Manager Joe Maddon opted to use all relievers as he prepares his team for the postseason.
After losing his previous two starts, Ivan Nova allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
It was the final start of the season for Nova, who went 5-2 in 11 starts after being acquired Aug. 1 from the New York Yankees in a trade. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
“I had a really, really, really good time here and hopefully we can work it out to where I can stay,” Nova said. “I’m excited for free agency, though, and we’ll see what happens.”
Pittsburgh is 78-80 and needs to sweep its season-ending three-game series at St. Louis that starts Friday night in order to extend its streak of winning seasons to four. The Pirates had 20 straight losing seasons from 1993-2012, the record for major North American team professional sports.
Maddon wore a No. 12 Lafayette College football jersey during his pregame meeting with reporters. It was the same number he wore when he was a quarterback for Leopards.
The Cubs’ traveling party planned to wear football jerseys for their flight to Cincinnati following the game.
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel (elbow tightness) has been scratched from his scheduled start Friday night at Cincinnati but may be able to pitch in a simulated game Tuesday and be ready for the NL playoffs next week. … LF Chris Coghlan (sprained left ankle) did not play after being injured Wednesday night when he crashed into the fence chasing a fly ball but could return Friday. … OF Jorge Soler (strained right side) will not play at Cincinnati but could participate in the simulated game.
Pirates: LF Starling Marte (lower back strain) and SS Jordy Mercer (strained right forearm) will not play in the final series. . RF Gregory Polanco (strained neck) missed his second game in a row.
Cubs: RHP Jake Buchanan (0-0 9.00), who has made one relief appearance for Chicago after going 12-8 for Triple-A Iowa, will start Friday against Reds RHP Josh Smith (5-2. 4.77 ERA).
Pirates: Rookie RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.91) faces Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (15-9, 3.15) and will be looking for his first major league win in his fourth career start.