CHICAGO – For the first time all season, the Cubs have won six consecutive games, yet that wasn’t what really mattered over the course of nine innings.

This was all about goodbyes for the fans and two of the Cubs players at Wrigley Field as a sense of reality gave this late July contest against the Pirates a sense of finality.

The team won’t be back at the “Friendly Confines” until after the trade deadline on August 2nd, with Willson Contreras and Ian Happ most likely being traded before it expires. So that made the contest a moment for both to say goodbye to each other, which has become common during the Cubs’ dismantling of their championship core over the past year.

Indeed that was the case as a number of emotional moments for both Contreras and Happ overshadowed the host’s 4-2 win over the Pirates on Tuesday afternoon.

Contreras was greeted with a standing ovation during his at-bats in the first and seventh innings, and each time he gestured to the crowd in appreciation for their salute. The three-time All-Star catcher has been with the Cubs his entire career, beginning with them signing him as an international free agent in 2009.

In his first at-bat, he singled and was driven in by Happ, whose two-run double put the Cubs ahead. The outfielder would be driven home by Nico Hoerner as the hosts got all the runs they’d need in the first frame.

After the final out, both Contreras and Happ shared a hug as they walked off the field with the crowd cheering in the background in what will likely be their last home game as Cubs teammates.

As the catcher came to the dugout, his teammates lined up in front of the step and each gave him a hug before he conducted a postgame interview with Marquee Sports Network.

When that concluded, Contreras would then take a moment to thank the crowd again as he raised his cap to the fans as he got ready to leave the field for the last game on Tuesday.

Just before they each went into the clubhouse, Contreras and Happ shared one more embrace in the dugout as they likely complete their home careers with the Cubs.

The catcher has been at the major league level with the team since 2016, helping them to a World Series title in 2016. Happ, a 2015 first round pick, has been in the big leagues with the Cubs since the 2017 season and was named an All-Star for the first time in 2022.

The Cubs now hit the road for a seven-game stretch that begins against the Giants on Thursday in San Francisco. After that comes a three-game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis which starts at 6:45 PM on August 2nd after the expiration of the MLB Trade Deadline.