9/17 Late night at Wrigley

Did you stay awake for the Cubs game? The start was delayed 3 hours 37 minutes because of rain, and first pitch was at 10:42 p.m. CT. It’s the latest a game has started at Wrigley Field since July 26, 2005, when the Cubs faced the Giants, and play began at 9:48 p.m. CT. In that game, Greg Maddux picked up his 3,000th strikeout, and play ended at 1:16 a.m. CT. This was the last trip to Chicago for the Pirates, who do not have an off day for the rest of the season. The fans who waited out the weather in the upper deck were moved to the lower level so some of the ushers could go home.

Fans who stayed were offered a 25 percent discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Cubs reliever Michael Bowden stood in the rain to sign autographs and pose for photos for fans who braved the weather.

Next up for the Cubs are the Reds, who had checked into their hotel long before first pitch. They’ll be rested for Tuesday’s night game.

“That’s a nice ballclub,” Dale Sveum said of the Reds. “That’s the same kind of ballclub we saw in Washington. You make mistakes and they have a chance to beat you up. It’s a really good ballclub and that’s why the Reds and Washington have the best records in baseball.”

The Cubs had a tough time against the Nationals, who swept a four-game series Sept. 3-6 in Washington, and outscored Chicago 31-10. The Reds’ magic number to clinch the National League Central at five.

“Nobody wants anybody to clinch on your turf, that’s for sure,” Sveum said. “It’s inevitable that they’ll clinch, you just don’t want them to do it on your place.”

 — Carrie Muskat

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