Rapid Reaction: Pirates 5, Cubs 0
CHICAGO -- The Cubs fell 5-0 to the Pittsburg Pirates on Monday, to even a three-game series. The Cubs have dropped just one series since June 25.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Pirates’ A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the eighth inning as the Cubs were held in check a few hours after some roster upheaval at the non-waiver trade deadline. Pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas broke up the no-hitter with a clean single to right field. Darwin Barney was hit by a pitch on the side of his helmet earlier in the eighth inning and despite a desire to stay in the game he was replaced by Jeff Baker. Burnett finished off the one-hitter.
WHAT IT MEANS: Casey Coleman gave mixed reviews as he atttempts to nail down a rotation spot. Coleman was added to the roster Tuesday and ran into trouble early. He gave up a first-inning grand slam to Neil Walker before he quickly settled down. He loaded the bases on two infield singles and a walk. He went just 4 2/3 innings, but didn’t give up another run. He allowed seven hits, while walking four. With Paul Maholm and Ryan Dempster traded this week, Coleman and Justin Germano are getting the first chance to earn rotation spots.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Make that 7,441 games since the last time the Cubs were no-hit. The streak, which dates back to a 1965 no-hitter by the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax, was in serious jeopardy. It took one of the newest members of the Cubs to end it as Cardenas was called up to the team earlier in the day to take Reed Johnson’s roster spot. Cardenas lined a 3-2 pitch from Burnett into right field.
OFF BEAT: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was busy recording outs all over the infield in the third inning. He not only threw out a runner at the plate after a ground ball, one batter later he was able to catch three runners between second and third base. He eventually ran two runners to the third-base bag before he made the tag.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send left-hander Travis Wood (4-6, 4.98 ERA) to the mound Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series. The Pirates will counter with right-hander Jeff Karstens (3-2, 3.88) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.