Here’s something you don’t hear too often about baseball games: we have a tie. Thursday night’s game between the Cubs and Pirates at PNC Park was shortened by rain. The game was officially suspended in a 1-1 tie and the game will not be made up, as announced on the Pirates’ official Twitter account. Major League Baseball has deemed it a tie game and all stats from the game will count. Neither team was involved in the playoff hunt as the Cubs had already clinched the NL Central and the Pirates were recently eliminated from Wild Card contention.
As Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, this is the first tie the Pirates have been a part of since August 24, 1988 against the Cardinals. And it’s the first tie in baseball since the Astros and Reds on June 30, 2005.
Tim Federowicz drove in the Cubs’ only run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Wilson Contreras. Josh Bell brought home the Pirates’ only run on a sacrifice fly of his own, scoring Eric Fryer. As for the pitching, Rob Zastryzny allowed the one unearned run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings for the Cubs. Travis Wood pitched four perfect innings of relief. For the Pirates, Ivan Nova yielded the one earned run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays again on Thursday evening, 4-0, and in doing so eliminated the Yankees and Astros from contention in the American League Wild Card race.
The offense pecked away with a run in each of the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez limited the Jays to one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Donnie Hart got the final out of the seventh. Brad Brach dominated with two scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame.
The Orioles and Blue Jays are now tied for the first and second Wild Card slots in the AL. The Tigers’ game with the Indians was postponed due to rain and they now sit 1.5 games behind both the O’s and Jays. The Mariners and Athletics game will begin shortly with the Mariners 2.5 games behind.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.