It figured that Fred McGriff's milestone day would come in a loss.
This Cubs team is so inept it could spoil a white Christmas.
McGriff became the first player in baseball history to hit 30 homers in a season for five teams: Toronto, San Diego, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and the Cubs.
And by going deep at PNC Park, McGriff overtook Cleveland's Ellis Burks for the lead in "conquered" ballparks. McGriff has homered in 42 parks, one more than Burks.
But the significance of his first-inning blast off Kris Benson got washed away Sunday in a tedious 5-4 loss to the Pirates.
"You pride yourself on trying to be consistent," McGriff said. "Every year you set goals, and myself, I try to hit at least 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. So it's nice. But today was bittersweet. We had an opportunity with the bases loaded."
McGriff was referring to the third inning, when the Cubs led 2-0 with a chance to break open the game. But with one out and the bases full, McGriff struck out and Moises Alou lined out to left.
The Cubs, who scored just two more runs the rest of the way, lost two of three to a Pittsburgh team that has a fraction of their talent and about half the payroll.
Team President Andy MacPhail and general manager Jim Hendry were on hand to watch the Cubs finish the season with a road record of 31-50. They haven't finished above .500 on the road since 1995.
MacPhail had said Saturday "a lot of the key, important ingredients are in place," meaning there would not be a need for a major reshuffling. Hendry might have different ideas.
Either way, McGriff won't be part of the future. The Cubs will decline his $8.25 million option in favor of starting rookie Hee Seop Choi.
But at 39, McGriff isn't finished.
"I'm going to keep playing," he said.
Where would he like to play?
"Wait and see," he replied.
Sammy Sosa, in search of his own milestone home run, had another quiet day at the plate. He remains two shy of 500 homers after grounding out in the first, walking in the third, fouling out in the fifth and singling to right in the eighth.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times