Carlos Zambrano carried a no-hitter and four-run lead into the fifth Tuesday night against the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Cubs still found a way to turn it into a disgusting 7-6 extra-inning loss.

The North Siders tallied four errors, three of them on botched double plays. The Cubs gave up the lead three times in a see-saw battle, the last after a Derrek Lee single in the top of the 11th gave them the lead for what should have been the win.

Ronny Cedeno stayed in the game at short after pinch-hitting in the top of the 11th, and with runners on first and third and one out, the ball was hit right to him. Cedeno quadruple-clutched on what should have been the game-ending double play. He threw wide of second base, allowing the tying run to score. Second baseman Freddy Bynum was given the error on the play, apparently for his inability to have eight-foot arms.

Dusty Baker then had Cubs closer Ryan Dempster issue an intentional walk to load the bases. The skipper’s strategy was tossed out the window when Dempster next issued in unintentional walk, forcing in the winning run.

The Pirates go for the sweep Wednesday at 11:35 a.m. When they pull it off, the Cubs will have just a half game lead over Pittsburgh. Remember when everyone made fun of the Bucs?

Number of the Night: 13
Games this season that Cubs Fans have labeled “Worst Game of the Year,” including this one.

heckler editorial staff