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Pirates 8, Cubs 2: Witness To History

The Cubs accomplished something Tuesday night that they had never done before in the entire history of the team.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

These next paragraphs are intended to be read with heavy sarcasm. Ready? Go!

Congratulations, fellow Cubs fan!

What you are reading is a recap that has never been written before, not in the 138-season history of the only original National League franchise still operating in its first city.

The Cubs lost to the Pirates 8-2 Tuesday night, and in so doing became the first team in franchise history to lose 50 home games in a single season. (It's also the worst home winning percentage ever; even if the Cubs win their final home game Wednesday, the home winning percentage would be .382. It was never below .403 in the pre-162-game-schedule era.)

In addition, the 93rd loss of the season made 2012 and 2013 the two consecutive seasons with the most combined defeats -- 194 -- breaking the record set in 1961-62 and tied in 1965-66.

And so, fellow Cubs fan, you and I are witness to history.

End sarcasm, but not the end of a recap of a very dull and depressing defeat.

When Chris Rusin gave up three runs in the second inning of Tuesday night's loss, the game might as well have been over then, but instead slogged on for a dreadful three hours and 18 minutes, filled with walks (six of them), strikeouts (23 combined for the two teams), some horrific baserunning (Nate Schierholtz running to second base on a clean single to center field, not realizing Dioner Navarro had stopped there; Schierholtz was easily tagged out. Was that the reason Schierholtz was double-switched out of the game in the fifth inning?), broken bats flying all over the infield and one bat flying into the seats next to the dugout, just adjacent to where Tom Ricketts was sitting.

And the Pirates trotted out all three ex-Cubs on their roster; in addition to Marlon Byrd starting in right field (2-for-4 with a walk), Felix Pie pinch-ran in the eighth. Why Alberto Cabrera was paying so much attention to him with a 6-2 deficit isn't clear, but Cabrera fired a throw past Logan Watkins into center field, allowing Pie to take third. For some reason, Watkins was charged with the error, even though it didn't appear the throw was anywhere close to being good and Watkins barely touched the ball. Finally, Kyle Farnsworth threw the ninth inning for the Pirates; if you're thinking you haven't seen much of the former Cub 100-MPH righty at Wrigley since he left by trade after the 2004 season, you're right. Before Tuesday Farnsworth had pitched just twice at Wrigley as a visitor, both with the Braves, once in 2005, once in 2010.

The Cubs did manage to generate quite a number of baserunners, with 10 hits and three walks, but all that did was increase the team's LOB count (nine of them Tuesday night, with another typical 2-for-10 hitting with RISP). It was a nice night for Starlin Castro, who had two hits and a walk; perhaps he can finish this year strong. Of the Cubs relievers who followed Rusin, only Brooks Raley (who struck out four straight Pirates at one point), Blake Parker (four batters faced, four retired) and Zac Rosscup (1-2-3 ninth inning) were effective.

The Pirates, with the win, kept pace with the Cardinals, who defeated the Nationals. In fact, they not only beat the Nationals, but Michael Wacha came within one out of a no-hitter. Wacha was the Cardinals' No. 1 pick in the draft... last year. Perhaps in the future, Cubs draft picks will put together performances like that.

In the meantime, we watch pennant races vicariously and will do so through the weekend, likely witness to another clinching in St. Louis.

BCBer katie casey was also "Witness to History" as she joined us in the bleachers Tuesday night. katie, hope you enjoyed the game despite the result.

Jake Arrieta will face Francisco Liriano in the home finale at 1:20 p.m. CT Wednesday. The game preview will post at 11:30 a.m. CT.