PITTSBURGH -- As the Pirates and Cubs discovered Thursday night, there is tying in baseball. Their series finale at PNC Park was suspended and declared a 1-1 tie after being delayed by rain in the top of the sixth inning.
The tie game, the Majors' first since 2005, will not be reflected in either club's record. Major League Baseball deemed the suspended game to be a tie because it won't be completed before the end of the regular season on Sunday and won't affect either team in the standings.
The Cubs already clinched the Majors' best record, which remains 101-57, guaranteeing them home-field advantage in the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series. The Pirates were mathematically eliminated from the playoff race late Tuesday night. They can still salvage the rare 81-win winning season by sweeping the Cardinals this weekend at Busch Stadium.
Although the tie is not reflected in the clubs' final records, the statistics from Thursday's game are official. They will each finish with 161 combined wins and losses but 162 games worth of stats. So Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova threw a 5 1/3-inning complete game, technically his third complete-game effort with Pittsburgh.
"Never seen that before," Nova said. "I was hoping at least we could keep playing until we scored a run and we win, that's it. It's the first time I've seen that happen."
Cubs lefty Rob Zastryzny went 3 2/3 innings in his first Major League start, striking out four while allowing one unearned run on two hits and two walks.
The game began on time despite dark clouds hovering over Pittsburgh most of Thursday afternoon. About an hour before game time, the grounds crew pulled the tarp off the field. The clubs played through steady rain most of the night, each scoring a run on a sacrifice fly, but the rain intensified after five innings and eventually forced both teams off the field following the first out of the sixth inning.
The Pirates announced that tickets from Thursday night's game will not be eligible for exchange because Major League Baseball declared it an official game, not a postponement.
The last tie game in the Major Leagues was June 30, 2005, a 2-2 final between the Astros and Reds at Great American Ball Park.
The Pirates' last tie was Aug. 24, 1998, a 5-5 game against the Cardinals at Three Rivers Stadium.
The Cubs last played a tie game on May 28, 1993, a 2-2 decision against the Expos at Wrigley Field. They will finish their season with three games against the Reds in Cincinnati before opening the NLDS at Wrigley Field on Oct. 7.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.