Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Chicago Cubs, 4-3

Sports Illustrated recently ran a story about new Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, which is to say it ran a story about hope.

But any story about hope and the Cubs is a story about a historical record that recommends proceeding in an orderly fashion to the lifeboats.

The piece was featured inside the magazine, so we don't know which jinx is stronger: SI's infamous cover jinx or the Cubs' tendency to jinx everything they touch.

Talk about a battle of titans. Would Ricke...

The Cubs insist they're better than the team that lost its fifth consecutive game this season to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

They say they're superior to the bewildered outfit that once again, after setting the table for a potentially invigorating ninth-inning rally, failed to get the big hit.

''We're not getting blown out, and we're not playing terrible baseball,'' said Marlon Byrd, a 2010 Cubs bright spot who nonetheless struck out against Pirates closer Octavio Dotel ...