Bucs-Cubs' finale canceled due to rain
Statistics erased as game will not be made up
CHICAGO -- The last game of the season between the Pirates and Cubs started on Thursday, yet rain ensured it would never finish.
With the Pirates leading, 3-0, and Ryan Doumit at the plate to lead off the fourth, home plate umpire Jim Wolf called for the grounds crew to cover the Wrigley Field infield. That tarp would never move as persistent rain continued. After a delay of two hours, 32 minutes, the game was called. It will not be made up.
None of the statistics from Thursday's games will count either, which means that outfielder Lastings Milledge loses what would have been his fourth home run of the season and first away from PNC Park. He went deep off Cubs starter Jeff Samardzjia for a two-run blast in the first.
The rainout also cost Garrett Jones his 45th RBI of the season. Jones had driven in Andy LaRoche with a one-out single in the first. All three of the Pirates' runs were scored in that first inning.
In what was to be Paul Maholm's final start of the season, the left-hander allowed one hit in each of the three innings he finished. Two of those baserunners were erased on double plays, while Maholm stranded the other, So Taguchi, on third in the first.
With Thursday's results from his outing were negated by the rain, Maholm finishes the season 8-9 with a 4.44 ERA. However, Maholm finished the season strong, going 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA in his final seven starts. His 3.00 ERA in four September starts marked the lowest ERA he had in any month this season.
Oddly enough, this marked the third time in as many trips to Wrigley Field this season that the Pirates have had a game interrupted by rain.
On May 26, the Cubs claimed a 6-1 victory over the Pirates in a game that was played only through five innings. It was delayed after Chicago scored three times in the bottom of the fifth and called an hour and two minutes later.
The Aug. 16 game between these two teams never started due to an afternoon rainstorm. That contest was made up on Wednesday as part of a day-night doubleheader, which the Pirates ended up sweeping. There is no need to make up Thursday's game since it did not have any sort of playoff implications.
Despite not completing what would have been the 15th and final game between Chicago and Pittsburgh this season, the Pirates do leave Wrigley Field with their first series win on the road since taking three of four against the Nationals back in May. Since then, the Pirates had gone 0-16-1 in their last 17 series away from PNC Park.
Pittsburgh finished the year 4-10 against the Cubs after going 4-14 against them a year ago.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.