How much can a Cubs fan take? This one took 16 innings to lose
APR 03, 2014 2:15a ET
It has to be tough being a Cubs fan.
The ‘Loveable Loser’ theme can only be fun for so long.
With the franchise’s history, fans can’t expect too much.
Not after Bartman.
Not after the curse of the billy goat.
Not after Leon Durham’s error in the 1984 NLCS.
Not after a last World Series appearance in 1945.
Not after a last World Series title in 1908.
Not after ... well, you get the picture.
So the Cubs lost their 2014 opener on Monday in Pittsburgh when the Pirates scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the 10th.
Game 2 of the new season was Wednesday night, also in Pittsburgh.
Things started out harmless.
Cubs leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio -- 4 for 5 on Monday – started things off with a single, but then ...
... he was picked off at first base by Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton.
After the Pirates failed to score in the bottom half of the first, the Cubs' first two batters reached in the second - Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch and Nate Schierholtz singled, moving Rizzo to second. Then ...
... Ryan Sweeny grounded into a double play and Welling Castillo grounded out to Morton.
Cubs 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position after that 0-for-2 inning.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) April 2, 2014
Two more singles in the top of the third, but no runs.
Two baserunners in the fifth - thanks to two Pittsburgh errors - with one out, and ...
... yep, you guessed it. No runs.
Thanks to a leadoff walk and two Cubs errors, Pittsburgh would score again in the sixth for a 2-0 lead.
But then a miracle happened in the eighth. The Cubs scored!
The run came by way of an overturned call on the field through the MLB’s new instant replay rules, but it was a run!
Then the unthinkable really happened in the ninth.
With two outs and trailing 2-1, Luis Valbuena singled in the tying run.
Now the Cubs had runners on first and third ... but Castro popped out. But hey, the Cubs rallied to tie ... and reliever Hector Rondon retired the Pirates 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the frame.
Another extra-inning game and a chance to get that first W for new manager Rick Renteria.
Chicago managed a two-out single in the 10th, but didn’t score. Junior Lake led off the 11th with a double ... but didn’t score.
What what do you know, Rizzo homered to lead off the 12th. Cubs lead 3-2. Would they hold it?
Nope. A one-out walk followed by a hit batsman put two Pirates on base. The Cubs managed to get the second out without giving up a run, but Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte tied it with an RBI single.
Then the game dragged on. No runs in the 13th. No runs in the 14th or 15th.
Nothing like investing 5+ hrs in #2 of 162. #Cubs— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) April 3, 2014
Last position player used by Cubs.— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) April 3, 2014
When the #Cubs make the playoffs by one win, remember this game.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) April 3, 2014
Last time #Cubs played 16 inning game was 5/31/2003 vs. Astros— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 3, 2014
Then, just as most Cubs fans probably expected, Chicago lost in the bottom of the 16th when pinch-hitter Tony Sanchez, a rookie, scored Jose Tabata with one-out single.
The marathon lasted 5 hours and 55 minutes, setting the record for the longest Pirates' home game by time played. It was just before 1:30 a.m. in Pittsburgh -- and just before 12:30 a.m. in Chicago.
You have to feel for the Cubs fan, no?
The #Cubs have played 27 innings, have given up 4 runs, outhit opponents by 10 have a lead off hitter that is hitting .800, and they are 0-2— Mike Stawski (@MikeStawski) April 3, 2014
Cubs lost lol I knew it— Shaneo (@ShaneTaylor43) April 3, 2014
yup....thats cubs baseball for ya— #KingShinx (@SinWithVengance) April 3, 2014
What a waste of 6 hours. #Cubs— Cam Stewart (@CamStewart9) April 3, 2014
Ugh :/ Being a Cubs fan is so frustrating.— Austin Reas (@A_Reas13) April 3, 2014
I need a beer for everyone of those innings... I think being a Cubs fan is unhealthy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.— Colin Shelhamer (@C_Shel27) April 3, 2014
ME AFTA WATCHN DA CUBS DA LAST FEW DAYS pic.twitter.com/IZqxT368bJ— Ghetto Cubs Fan (@ghettocubsfan) April 3, 2014
Cubs fans won’t have long to fret over this one. Thursday's series finale starts at 12:35 p.m. ET -- that’s 11:35 a.m. Chicago time.
Cubs-Pirates first pitch is at 11:35 in the morning. Practically a double header.— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) April 3, 2014
And then there’s the Pirates fans, who seemed to enjoy the marathon affair.