Pitchers who threw 'all-hitters' vs. Cubs

A previous post looked at games in which Cubs pitchers threw what Marc Craig of The Athletic recently dubbed an "all-hitter": a game in which a pitcher allowed a hit to every batter he faced, with a minimum of 4 batters.

Since 1901, Cubs starters have done it 13 times, most recently in 2010 by Randy Wells (6 hits) and relievers have done it 28 times, including Sept. 25 by Codi Heuer (4 hits).

I wondered how often Cubs batters have inflicted an all-hitter on opposing pitchers.

The answer? 36 times, 16 against starters and 20 against relievers.



The very first time remains the game in which the Cubs made the most consecutive hits: 6.

That is 1 short of the record for such games, 7, set by Bill Bonham of the Cubs in 1975 and tied by Mike LaCross of the Reds in 1979.

There have been 33 games in which a pitcher gave up a hit to each of the 6 batters he faced. Relievers Tyler Chatwood of the Blue Jays and Genesis Cabrera of the Cardinals both did it in the recently completed season. That raised the total of 6-for-6 games to 13 since 2001, meaning there were only 20 in 1901-2000.

Wells was the last starter to give up 6 straight hits and depart. The last non-Cub was Kurt Birkins of the Orioles, in 2007.



No pitcher, starter or reliever, had done it until the Cubs teed off against Charlie Chech of the Reds, in Game 2 of a doubleheader, at Cincinnati, on Sept. 11, 1905.

The Cubs had managed only 6 hits in Game 1 as they lost, 3-2. They had lost to the Reds by same score at Chicago on Sept. 2, managing 7 hits in 8 innings against Chech, a 27-year-old rookie right hander.

This time, said the Cincinnati Enquirer, "The Cubs jumped on Cheech's curves like a gang at Fifth and Walnut catching the last car out at 1 a.m. . . . It was an awful bombardment that drove the St. Paul lad to cover."



Jimmy Slagle and scored on a triple by Doc Slagle. Frank Chance and Frank Schulte singled. Joe Tinker bunted to Chech, who threw wildly; Tinker was given credit for a single and wound up on third. Billy Maloney singled him home.

The string of hits ended when Johnny Evers grounded to third baseman (and future Cub) Harry Steinfeldt, but Evers was safe when the first baseman (and ex-Cub) Shad Barry dropped the throw.

Jack O'Neill then singled, becoming the eighth straight batter to reach base.

"As it was late, and there seemed to be no chance of getting anybody out under the present conditions, Chech was chased," the Enquirer explained.


His replacement, Tom Walker, finally got the first out when Cubs starter Mordecai Brown laid down a bunt. Slagle and Casey followed with their second hits of the inning, making the score 8-0.

Each added a third hit in the next inning, after Walker hit 2 batters. Two runs in the third increased the Cubs' bulge to 12-0 and there it stayed.

The game was called due to darkness after 6 innings. The Cubs finished with 17 hits; the Reds, 3.


Check finished 1905 with a record of 14-14 and an earned run average of 2.89. In 267.2 innings, he allowed 300 hits. He completed 20 of 25 starts, 1 a shutout, and finished 13 games, most in the league.

He was just 1-4 in 11 games in 1906, then a combined 18-12 for Cleveland and the Red Sox in 1908-09. He ended his 4-year career 33-30, 2.52. His ERA+ was 113; his WAR, 4.3



The Cubs knocked out starters with 4 straight hits in 1918, 1920, 1924, 1925 and 1930. They lost the 1920, 11-6, to the Cardinals and won all the rest.

They did the same to 4 relievers between 1910 and 1925.

But they did not start a game with 5 hits in a row until June 16, 1933, at home against the Pirates.

"The Cubs didn't feel like giving the ladies day gathering much of a suspended interest wallop," Edward Burns wrote in the Chicago Tribune. "They hopped on Bill Swift, an able gent most times, with four straight singles and a double as soon as they went to bat.

"These hits produced three runs and so depressed the slipping Pirates that it was apparent that the Cubs eventually would emerge victorious. . . .

"The brutal way the Cubs treated Swift during his brief pitching tenancy was nothing short of shameless. [Woody] English opened the Cub offensive with a single over second and progressed a base when Bill [sic] Herman singled past [first baseman Gus] Suhr.

"Babe Herman slammed a single to center, scoring English and putting Bill Herman on third and taking second himself on the throw in. [Riggs] Stephenson singled to right, scoring the Hermans, but was out, when he tried to make it a double.

"[Harvey Hendrick] made it five hits in a row with a double off the right field screen. [Ray] Kremer replaced Swift."


The Pirates ultimately used 4 pitchers, who gave up 15 hits. Guy Bush of the Cubs allowed 7, the last a 2-out double in the ninth that cost him a shutout. It would have been the team's third in a row. The final score was 9-1.



Here are the 5 other games in which the Cubs went 5 for 5 against a starter, sending him to the showers:

May 30, 1937, vs. Lee Grissom of Reds in 7-1 win

July 10, 1951, vs. Carl Erskine of Dodgers in 7-6 win

April 21, 1973, vs. Nelson Briles of Pirates in 10-9 win

April 24, 1977, vs. Woodie Fryman of Reds in 7-1 win

July 28, 1994, vs. Steve Cooke of Pirates in 10-3 win


In 1977, singles by Ivan de Jesus and Jose Cardenal, followed by a passed ball, preceded an RBI single by Bill Buckner. Bobby Murcer then slugged a 3-run homer and Jerry Morales hit a solo shot.

That is the only 1 of the Cubs' 36 all-hitters in which they homered twice.



And here are the 3 games since World War II that the Cubs began with 4 straight hits to knock out the starter:

May 18, 1951, vs. Leo Cristante of Phillies in 18-9 win

Aug. 2, 1963, vs. Jack Sanford of Giants in 12-11 win

May 16, 1989, vs. Tom Glavine of Braves in 4-3 win


In the last of those, the Cubs greeted the future Hall of Famer with singles by Doug Dascenzo and Domingo Ramos, a 2-run triple by Ryne Sandberg and an infield hit by Mark Grace on which Sandberg stayed at third.

A 2-out passed ball by reliever Charlie Puelo made the score 4-0, and the Cubs barely hung on to win, 4-3. They made only 4 more hits the rest of the way.



The Cubs did not make hits in their only 5 at bats against a reliever until April 18, 1958, against Von Daniel of the Cardinals.

They led, 8-3, in the bottom of the fifth when Johnny Goryl doubled, then Cal Neeman, pitcher Dick Drott, Tony Taylor and Lee Walls all singled, with the hits by Drott and Walls scoring runs. After McDaniel departed, Ernie Banks hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 11-3. The Cubs won, 11-9.


They have duplicated the 5-hit feat against a reliever just 3 times:

June 28, 1964, vs. Larry Yellen of Astros in 10-2 win

May 25, 2007, vs. Jonathan Broxton of Dodgers in 9-8 loss

June 18, 2012, vs. Nate Jones of White Sox, in 12-3 win



Broxton entered the 2007 game after the Cubs already had scored 3 runs in the seventh inning, on back-to-back doubles by Alfonso Soriano (1 run) and Mark DeRosa (2) that cut the Dodgers' lead to 5-4.

Derrek Lee doubled home the tying run, then was caught stealing. Aramis Ramirez and Cliff Floyd singled, Michael Barrett singled home Ramirez and Jacque Jones doubled in Floyd, knocking out Broxton.

The Cubs added another run on an error to open an 8-5 lead. But in the eighth, the Dodgers turned 4 straight singles, a wild pitch, a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly into 4 runs and held on to win, 9-8.



The 2012 game is the most recent in which the Cubs have had even 4 straight hits against a new pitcher. They led the host Sox, 6-3, when David DeJesus was hit by a pitch to open the seventh. Starlin Castro singled and Bryan LaHair struck out.

Jones then came out of the bullpen and gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Soriano and Steve Clevenger. A wild pitch put runners on second and third. Darwin Barney singled home the lead runner, then Luis Valbuena cleared the bases with a 3-run homer. Geovany Soto's single chased Jones.



Here, in alphabetical order, are all 16 relief pitchers against whom the Cubs produced 4 straight hits:

Ray Bare, Larry Benton, Rube Benton, Rocky Childress, Jim Davis, Roy Face, Bobby Hogue, Bill Hubbell, Bob McClure, Roger McDowell, Brian Meadows, Deacon Phillipe, Bud Podbielan, Bert Roberge, Brad Salmon and Bill Werle.


Only 2 of the all-hitters with 4 hits came in the last 30 years.

On May 30, 2004, the Cubs 7 runs in the top of the ninth at Pittsburgh complete a 12-1 win. The score was 6-1 when Meadows came in and surrendered a 2-run single to Moises Alou, an RBI double to Ramirez, a 2-run triple to Lee and an RBI single to Michael Barrett.

On Sept. 28, 2007, at Cincinnati, the Cubs led, 4-0, with 2 out and nobody on in the eighth. Ramirez welcomed Salmon with a single. A single by DeRosa and a double by Jones scored 2 runs. Ryan Theriot singled, too, but Jones was thrown out at the plate. The Cubs won the game, 6-0.



In all games in which they have made at least 4 straight hits in their only at bats against the pitcher, the Cubs' record is 32-4: 15-1 when they did it against starters and 17-3 against relievers.

The breakdown by number of hits:

6 hits: 1-0 (1-0 vs. starters)

5 hits: 9-1 (6-0 vs. starters, 3-1 vs relievers)

4 hits: 22-3 (8-1 vs. starters, 14-2 vs. relievers)

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