After a day full of rumors and speculation the Cubs came out flat and uninspired against A.J. Burnett. Burnett took advantage and was four outs away from pitching his second career no-hitter before Adrian Cardenas lined a two out single in the 8th to break it up. That was the only thing left undecided by the 8th inning tonight as the Pirates, thanks to a first inning grand slam by Neil Walker were cruising to a 5-0 victory. Casey Coleman got the start for the Cubs thanks to Ryan Dempster being traded earlier in the day to the Texas Rangers. Coleman didn’t seem ready to go at the start either as he gave up four runs in the first on the way to his second loss of the season. Coleman only lasted 4.2 innings thanks to spotty command, he gave up four runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out five. As you could already guess the Cubs did nothing at the plate as Burnett had everything working, a brutal two-seem fastball that took up residence on the inside corner and a curve ball that vanished all night. Games like this happen, especially after a long day of wondering who is the next guy to be traded. Definitely not taking anything away from Burnett, he was outstanding tonight. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
I think Dale Sveum said it best after this one, “I’m a little lost for words now. It’s kind of the same thing” you’re not the only one Dale. Just when you think the Cubs have found every way possible to lose a game they go out and find another excruciating way to do so. Ryan Dempster was on the mound again for the Cubs so odds are it was going to be a low scoring game, and it was. Dempster was brilliant, what else is new? He went 7 and 1/3rd and only gave up one run on seven hits. Dempster had his command once again tonight as he only walked one guy while striking out seven, his ERA drops to 2.14, and his record falls to 0-3, amazing. Offensively the Cubs actually had something going, they pounded out 10 hits, but couldn’t push any runs across the plate, that’s hard to do. Starlin Castro, hitting in the two-hole for the first time this year was 2-for-5, but made the final out of the game by striking out against Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan with the tying run on third. David DeJesus made the biggest out just before Castro as he struck out looking with said tying run on third when a fly ball would have got the job done. Just terrible, the Cubs were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base, what more is there to say, that tells you everything you need to know. Full box score, and highlights after the jump.