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Cubs' post-season extra-inning games, Part 1

Few things in baseball are as dramatic as extra-inning games in the post season -- especially games that could end a series.

The Cubs have played 121 post-season games: 60 in the World Series, 32 in National League Championship Series, 27 in NL Division Series and 1 Wild Card game.

Only 10 of those games have lasted more than 9 innings.

You likely recall the last 2:

--Their spine-tingling, 8-7, 10-inning win at Cleveland in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series

--Their agonizing, 2-1, 13-inning loss at home to the Rockies in the 2018 Wild Card game

Here is a look at each of their 8 earlier extra-inning post-season contests.

..........

OCTOBER 8, 1907

At Chicago

World Series, Game 1

Cubs 3, Tigers 3 (12 innings)

The Cubs were heavily favored to defeat the Tigers. After all, the Cubs had won 107 games in the regular season, to the Tigers' 92.

But a year earlier, the 116-win Cubs had lost in 6 games to the 93-win White Sox.

So when the Tigers scored 3 runs in the eighth inning, on 2 singles and 3 errors, to take a 3-1 lead, there was plenty of apprehension among the 24,377 who had turned out at the West Side Grounds.

...

The apprehension certainly increased after the Cubs went down in order in the eighth.

Frank Chanced led off the ninth with a single to right off Bill Donovan. After Harry Steinfeldt was hit by a pitch, John Kling tried to bunt but popped up to the first baseman.

Johnny Evers then grounded to third baseman Bill Coughlin, who bobbled the ball, leaving the bases loaded.

Frank Schulte, up next, grounded to the right side. The first baseman tossed to Donovan, covering first, for the second out. Chance scored, making the score 3-2, with 2 out and runners on second and third.

Del Howard was sent to the plate to pinch hit for Joe Tinker. With 2 strikes, Howard swung and missed and a curve ball -- but the game was not over.

..........

'MOST FRANTIC EXHIBITION'

"The ball caromed off [catcher Boss] Schmidt's mitt back toward the the crowd," I.E. Sanborn explained in the next day's Chicago Tribune, "and before he could retrieve the blunder Steinfeldt was home with the run that tied and the day was saved.

"For several minutes there was the most frantic exhibition ever seen, the entire throng jumping deliriously at imminent risk of jumping all over each other, and everything not nailed tightly was in the air."

Evers had reached third on the dropped third strike. With Pat Moran at bat, "he gained a long start and again hurled himself at the plate in his own inimitable squirmy fashion.

"But Schmidt some way held the ball and touched him out, or Evers would have been the greatest hero of them all, for his daring barely missed winning the game."

..........

'TECHNICALLY CORRECT'

Reliever Ed Reulbach retired the Tigers in order in the top of the 10th.

In the bottom, Jimmy Slagle singled with 1 out and stole second. With 2 out, Chance walked, Slagle swiped third. A pitch to Steinfeldt then eluded Schmidt.

"Slagle raced for home, like the Rabbit he is, and would have scored the winning run easily before Schmidt could get the ball there. But Steinfeldt was standing where Schmidt's frantic throw hit him, and [umpire Hank] O'Day called Jimmy out for the interference.

"Technically correct was the umpire, but there wasn't a chance the interference prevented retiring Slagle."

..........

'SOAKED IT ON WINGS'

Reulbach shrugged off a 2-out error in the Tigers' 11th.

The Cubs loaded the bases with 1 out on consecutive singles by Kling, Evers and Schulte. But Donovan struck out Heinie Zimmerman and got Reulbach to hit into a forceout.

The Tigers went 3 up, 3 down in the 12th.

Slagle grounded out, then "[Jimmy] Sheckard was hit and despite the gathering darkness Chance picked one out he wanted and soaked it on wings over second base.

[Germany] Schaefer made a despairing jump and with a mitt full of horseshoes speared the ball with one hand.

"When he landed on earth again he had Sheckard hopelessly buffaloed close to second base and easily doubled him up. Another inning could not possibly be played, so O'Day majestically waved a welcome dismissal to the crowd."

..........

IMPRESSIVE PACE OF PLAY

During the 12 innings, 95 players had come to plate, 19 of them making hits: 10 by the Cubs, 9 by the Tigers. There had been 8 errors (Cubs 5, Tigers 3); 5 walks (Cubs 3, Tigers 2) and 19 strikeouts (Cubs 12, Tigers 7).

From start to finish, it had taken 2 hours, 40 minutes!

...

There have been only 2 subsequent ties in post-season games: Giants 6, Red Sox 6, after 11 innings in Game 2 of the 1912 World Series, and Giants 3, Yankees 3, after 10 innings in Game 2 of the 1922 Series.

In 1907, the Cubs won the next 4 games, while allowing the Tigers only 3 total runs: 3-1, 5-1, 6-1 and 2-0.

A year later, when the teams met again, the Cubs made it 6 straight wins, 10-6 and 6-1, before suffering an 8-3 loss at home. Then they posted back-to-back shutouts at Detroit, 3-0 and 2-0, to become the first team to repeat as World Series champions.

..........

OCTOBER 22, 1910

At Chicago

World Series, Game 4

Cubs 4, Athletics 3 (10 innings)

The Cubs had won 104 games in 1909, 5 more than the previous season, but finished second to the 110-win Pirates.

In 1910, the Cubs posted 104 wins again and won the pennant by 13 games. In the World Series, they faced the Athletics, who had won 102 times to finish first in the American League by 14.5 games.

The A's won Games 1 and 2 at Philadelphia, 4-1 and 9-3, then throttled the Cubs, 12-5, when they resumed the series at Chicago.

There had been 26,210 at that game, on Thursday afternoon. The next day, only 19,150 turned out to see if the Cubs could avoid a 4-game sweep.

They trailed, 3-1, midway through the fourth. Schulte, Solly Hofman and Chance singled, making the score 3-2, but Zimmerman hit into a 1-5-3 double play and Steinfeldt flied out.

..........

'FRAUGHT WITH HEARTACHES'

The Cubs put 1 runner on base in the sixth, 2 in the seventh and 1 in the eighth. None of them scored and it remained a 3-2 game as the Cubs.

"A hush fell upon the crowd while the Athletics were being retired and the players were changing from attack to defense," Sanborn reported in the Tribune. "It was a hush fraught with heartaches and tense feeling: such as hush as falls upon a great nation when its monarch or loved statesmen lies at the point of death and the while world watches in deep sympathy his fight against dissolution.

[OK, that just a LITTLE bit over the top!]

"Into that stillness vibrant with emotion Frank Schulte tossed a veritable dynamite bomb of noise when he opened Chicago's ninth with a blow which sailed out into the overflow [crowd on the field] for two bases. It was his answer to that terrible doubt which had held the big crowd spellbound.

"Quickly [Solly] Hofman did his part of the work by sacrificing Schulte to third.

...

"Ninety feet now, only ninety feet stood between Chicago and at least a draw. A long fly or anything else would bring that run and stave off the fourth straight defeat.

"Into that breach Stepped Frank Chance, and no break of fortune could have been happier. No shoulders were better fitted to carry the hopes of all Chicago than those which swung Chance's familiar bat in its familiar jerky fashion.

"Carefully he measured his distance from the plate. As carefully he watched the ball as it came toward him. There was a flash of the bat and a crash, then the ball was seen to be sailing high and far out toward center.

"Frank Chance had not failed, and there still was hope, a splendid hope of averting disgrace. For that drive, if no matter if caught, was bound to let Schulte score the tying run. . . .

..........

HURRICANE IN STANDS

"Far over [center fielder Amos] Strunk's head it sailed and when the play ceased Chance was safely on third, while a hurricane broke loose in the stands. Such a volume of cheering meant that the Cub rooters had determined not to be called quitters, nor to give their heroes cause for complaint in their support."

Zimmerman had a chance to win the game, but popped up.

So did Steinfeldt, who fouled out when the shortstop reached into the stands to make the catch.

...

Harry Davis of the A's doubled with 1 out in the top of the 10th, only to be thrown out moments later when he tried to advance to third on a grounder to shortstop Tinker. A strikeout then ended the inning.

Tinker popped up to start the Cubs' half. Jimmy Archer, up next, "made himself a new wreath by smashing out a two base hit to deep left center. It would have been a near home run for him on a clear field, but the ground rules stopped him half way."

Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown had replaced starter King Cole in the ninth. He batted now, for the first time, and grounded to short, as Archer sped to third.

..........

'SPLIT TO FLINDERS'

"Two were out, and those Athletics were fighting yet. Nineteen thousand, one hundred and fifty voices involuntarily hushes as Sheckard hurried to the plate in this pinch. The in an instant 19,150 throats were split to flinders by a sharp piercing yell of triumph as Sheckard whacked a liner high over [pitcher Chief] Bender's head straight out to short center, where it landed in safety.

"That hit drove home the winning run and kept the world's pennant from slipping absolutely out of the grip of the Cubs."

...

Sheckard's single, the Cubs' 10th hit in 2 hours, 14 minutes, delayed the end of the Cubs' reign by only 24 hours. The next day, the A's broke open a 2-1 game by scoring 5 runs in the eighth and closed out the series, 7-2.

..........

OCTOBER 4, 1935

At Chicago

World Series, Game 3

Tigers 6, Cubs 5 (11 innings)

The Cubs played 6 games in the 1918 World Series, 5 in 1929 and 4 in 1932. They won only 3 of the 15 games and none of them went past 9 innings. Neither did the first 2 games of their next Series appearance, in 1935.

Those games took place at Detroit and the Cubs scored 3 runs in both, with far different results: a 3-0 win, than an 8-3 loss.

When the Series moved to Chicago, the Cubs scored twice in the second, on a leadoff home run by Frank Demaree and an RBI groundout by pitcher Bill Lee.

A walk, a bunt and a single by Augie Galan made the score 3-0 in the fifth.

But the Tigers got on the board in the sixth, on a single and a triple, then pulled even with 1 out in the eighth on a walk, a double and a 2-run single by Goose Goslin that knocked out Lee.

Lon Warneke surrendered a single to the first batter he faced and an RBI hit to the second that gave Detroit the lead.

The Tigers added another run on a double steal, making the score 5-3.

..........

SINGLE IN A PINCH

The Cubs went out in order in the eighth, on 2 fly balls and a strikeout, and their leadoff batter in the ninth flied out, too. Then Stan Hack singled.

Billy Jurges was due up, but Manager Charlie Grimm lifted him in favor of slugger Chuck Klein, a 4-time former NL home run champion with the Phillies. Klein delivered an opposite-field single to left field, Hack stopping at second.

Ken O'Dea, batting for Warneke, singled home Hack and sent Klein to third. Galan flied to deep center, Klein scored and the game was tied at 5. A groundout by Billy Herman sent it into a 10th inning.

...

Larry French, the Cubs' new pitcher, yielded a 2-out double but got the next batter to foul out.

Freddie Lindstrom led off the Cubs' 10th with a double to right-center. Gabby Hartnett bunted him to third, giving the Cubs 2 chances to win the game. But Demaree grounded out to short and Phil Cavarretta grounded out to second.

In the 11th, disaster struck.

..........

OUT OF SHORTSTOPS

After Klein had pinch hit for Jurges in the bottom of the ninth, Irving Vaughn noted in the Tribune, "There was nobody to take the place of Jurges [at shortstop] when extra innings became necessary. Capt. Woody English, himself a shortstop of long standing, had been removed from the bench in the eighth when there another flareup against [umpire George] Moriarty."

Moriarty had been the second base umpire when he ejected English.

"To meet the emergency Grimm had only one choice. Hack had to move from third to short, Lindstrom from center field to third, Demaree from right to center and Klein took over the right field job. The combination functioned properly in the tenth . . . but the eleventh was different."

...

Billy Rogell, the Tigers' shortstop, hit a ball through the left side. "[I]t was a ball the more experienced Jurges would have laughed at," Vaughn wrote.

The Cubs turned an attempted bunt by Marv Owen into a forceout at second. The next batter "aimed a garden variety of roller at Lindstrom. He fumbled."

French bore down to strike out Schoolboy Rowe, who had pitched the last 3 innings for the Tigers. He worked the count to 2-2 on Jo-Jo White, only to surrendered a single to center that drove home Owen, to the dismay of the crowd of 45,532.

..........

ONE AND DONE

French got Cochrane to foul out, stranding runners at second and third, but the damage was done.

Rowe coaxed a groundout by Hack, then struck out Klein.

The next batter was Walter Stephenson, a 24-year-old rookie. He had gone 10 for 26, slashing .385/.407/.500 ,in 16 regular-season games. But he struck out against Rowe, sealing the Cubs' fate.

Stephenson never had another at bat in the post season. He was 1 for 12 in 6 games for the Cubs in 1936, then 6 for 23 in 10 games for the Phillies in 1937. He played fewer than 150 games in the minors in 1938-39 and 1941, then retired at age 30.

..........

MORE WOE FOR FRENCH

Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the series the next day, eking out a 2-1 win in front of 49,350.

The Cubs staved off elimination a day later, winning Game 6 by 3-1 as 49,237 roared in approval.

They took a 3-2 lead in Game 7 at Detroit when Herman slugged a 2-out homer in the fifth. But in the sixth French yielded a 2-out double to Rogell and a game-tying single to Owen.

Hack led off the Cubs' ninth with a triple. The next 3 batter struck out, grounded out and flied out.

The groundout was by French. He struck out the first batter in the bottom half. Mickey Cochrane followed with a single and went to second on a grounder to first.

Moments later, Goose Goslin singled and Cochrane dashed home, ending the game and the Series.

.........

TOMORROW: A pair of extra-inning post-season games, more than half a century apart

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