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The biggest wins in Cubs history: June 7, 1906

One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history got pounded by the Cubs on this day.

Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

In all of baseball history (well, at least in the era, since 1904) there have been just 12 shutouts where the winning team scored 19 or more runs.

You read about one of those in the “worst losses” series here the other day, the 22-0 whitewashing of the 1975 Cubs by the Pirates.

In this article you’ll read about a blowout shutout where the Cubs came out on top. Keep in mind that the Cubs weren’t always called “Cubs” in those days. That didn’t become more or less official until a couple of years later. When I searched for “Cubs” in the Tribune archives for details of this game, I came up with no results. Searching “baseball” instead brought up the game recap in which the story — with no byline, only [Special] — called our favorite team the “Spuds,” which was apparently used fairly often in those days.

In this game, the Cubs — er, Spuds — pounded not one but two great Giants pitchers, both future Hall of Famers. First up was Christy Mathewson. He was followed by Joe McGinnity. Both had games among the worst of their careers.

Here’s the way the game recap in the Tribune began:

Not content with the humiliation of the Giants on two previous days, Chicago’s Nationals, remembering what McGraw did to them in Chicago, set out to annihilate the world’s champions today in the third game and succeeded. A score of 19 to 0 — eleven runs in the first inning — twenty two base hits and the scalps of McGraw’s two crack pitchers, Mathewson and McGinnity, was the harvest of the Spuds, and they might have made it bigger.

Whitewashed and disgraced again, the world’s champions were hooted and jeered at by the “loyal fans,” who for three years have hooted and jeered all visiting teams alike at the Polo grounds, never thinking to see McGraw at the head of as dilapidated and lifeless a band as the Giants looked today. The farce lasted considerably over two hours and at least half the 8,000 spectators left long before the end. Chance’s men had to allow themselves to be put out on the bases after making their hits in order to get the game over. Even at that Steinfeldt could not help scoring an unintentional run in the fourth.

They absolutely don’t write like that now, and perhaps that’s a good thing. That “scalps” comment would never make it past an editor in 2020.

The Cubs had 22 hits and drew eight walks in the 19-0 win and I found the writer’s “lasted considerably over two hours” note to be interesting — most games clearly took less time than that in 1906. The Cubs had scored all 19 runs by the fifth inning and then, per what was written above, apparently took a bit of mercy on their foe.

This was the last of a six-game winning streak; the Giants won the last of a four-game set the next day 7-3, but the Cubs then went on a run of winning 12 of their next 16, on their way to a 116-win season.

Of the 12 shutouts in history by 19 runs or more, just two teams have accomplished that feat more than once. The Indians did it in 1955 and 2004, and the other club is the Cubs. You’ll read about the other big Cubs shutout on Thursday.