In some ways, it was as if the game was being replayed Tuesday night, although instead of starting at third base like he did in that May 25 game at Pittsburgh, he watched from the bench after being recalled to the Cubs earlier in the day.
Cardenas finally took center stage as a pinch hitter with two outs in the eighth inning and managed to break up Burnett’s no-hit bid with a sharp single into right field.
“I faced him before; I won’t forget that game,” Cardenas said. “It’s the game I made two errors at third base. A.J. Burnett pitched that game. But I remembered him and I remembered how he was pitching throughout the game.”
A little knowledge went a long way, as Cardenas’ hit meant the Cubs’ streak of 7,441 games without being no-hit remained intact.
“I was able to get that hit, and it was good but it was very short-lived because to no avail, we lost 5-0,” Cardenas said. “It’s definitely sweet to break up the no-hitter here at our place. That’s something you don’t want to be a part of.”
Dempster wasn’t pitching Tuesday after he was traded to the Texas Rangers, but Cardenas had been thinking about him.
“I wish I was able to say goodbye to Dempster,” Cardenas said. “He was one of the best teammates I ever played with. He actually pitched the game I made two errors in, and I remember him encouraging me after I made a good play after the error where anybody could have shown me up, especially somebody like him with his years, and he never ever did that. ... He was just a great person.”