Through Saturday, the Cubs have played 18,805 games since the Modern Era began in 1901.
Only a handful of those games have been different from all that came before and after it.
Among those handful: a game at Pittsburgh on Friday, May 26, 1950.
The Cubs had lost the day before at Brooklyn, 5-4, leaving them with a 13-15 record and in sixth place in the National League. The Pirates, coming off a 3-0 loss at Philadelphia, were 16-17 and in fifth, half a game ahead of the Cubs.
Through 3 innings at Forbes Field, neither team could score. Frank Hiller, the starter for the Cubs, had allowed 3 hits; Mel Queen of the Pirates, 2.
The Cubs' hits both had come in the third, a leadoff single by Roy Smalley and a 2-out hit by Rube Walker. But Queen retired Phil Cavarretta to end the threat.
Hank Sauer, the Cubs' cleanup hitter, opened the fourth with a single to left. After a fly out, Bruce Edwards singled, with Sauer going to third. A walk to Randy Jackson then loaded the bases for Smalley, No. 8 in the order.
Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Tribune described what happened next this way:
"As soon as Smalley had accumulated one wide pitch and two strikes, he took the swing that opened the jackpot, the ball dropping into the phony inclosure [sic] in left after caroming off the scoreboard."
The grand slam was the 16th home run by Smalley, 24, who was in his third season with the Cubs. He would hit 17 more in 1950 and 28 over his final 6 years in the big leagues.
None of the others came with the bases loaded.
The Cubs have hit 223 grand slams since Smalley's, including 2 this season.
They had hit 88 since 1901 before his.
None of those other grand slams generated all the runs scored in the game.
After Smalley's slam, Queen walked Hiller, then was replaced by Walsh. He blanked the Cubs on 4 hits the rest of the way. The fourth was a single in the ninth by Smalley, his third hit of the night.
Hiller gave up leadoff singles in the sixth and seventh, back-to-back 2-out singles in the eighth and a 1-out single with 1 out in the ninth.
The 30-year-old right hander struck out the final batter to complete an 8-hit shutout in just his second start for the Cubs.
Through Saturday, the Cubs have won 1,308 games since 1901 in which they scored exactly 4 runs.
They have won 160 by a score of 4-0.
But the win over the Pirates that Friday night in Pittsburgh is the only one of those 4-0 wins that featured a grand slam.
The Cubs have won 9 other games in which a grand slam produced all their runs.
Five of those 9 wins were by 4-3. You no doubt remember the most recent: David Bote's "Ultimate Slam" with 2 outs in the ninth inning that beat the Nationals on Aug. 12, 2018.
It's possible that you remember the previous such game, on Aug. 5, 1984, when Keith Moreland cleared the bases in the bottom of the third inning to erase a 1-0 deficit against the Expos.
But it would be a miracle you recall any of the 3 earlier games that the Cubs won, 4-3, thanks to a grand slam:
1. July 17, 1928: Clyde Beck hit the slam, in the fifth inning, at home against the Phillies, with the Cubs trailing, 0-3.
2. Sept. 7, 1947: Ox Miller hit the slam, in the second inning of a scoreless game at Pittsburgh.
3. Sept. 9, 1947: Cliff Aberson hit the slam, in the eighth inning, at home against the Dodgers, with the Cubs behind, 0-3.
Note that the second and third of those 3 came just 2 days apart -- and the Cubs were idle on the day in between, as they made their way from Pittsburgh to Chicago.
Then they didn't do it record a similar victory for nearly 37 years.
The Cubs have won only 1 game by 4-1 on a grand slam, and it was their only walk-off that ended a shutout until Bote did it.
On Sept. 25, 1968, Willie Crawford of the Dodgers homered in the top of the fifth off Bill Hands.
Through 8 innings, Bill Singer held the Cubs scoreless on 1 hit, a 1-out single in the fourth by Billy Williams. He walked 2 in the second, then hit a batter and issued a walk in the seventh.
Willie Smith drew a 4-pitch walk to start the Cubs' ninth. Williams then doubled off the wall in right field, with Smith stopping a third. That prompted Singer to walk the next batter intentionally, loading the bases.
Ron Santo smashed Singer's next pitch high into the air and far over the wall in left field to win the game.
In each of the Cubs' 3 wins by 4-2 on slams, the homers came with no score.
Ernie Banks hit the first, in the fifth inning of a 1964 game at home against the Giants.
Bobby Murcer was next, in the third inning of a 1978 game at Philadelphia.
Michael Barrett was the last to do it, in the seventh inning of a 2006 game at Cincinnati.
HOMERS BY SITE, INNING
Of the 10 wins with 4 runs, all on a slam, 6 were at home and 4 were on the road.
Four of the 6 at home were 4-3 games, with the others by 4-1 and 4-2.
Two of the 4 on the road were by 4-2 and 1 each by 4-0 and 4-3.
Here is the breakdown by inning in which the homer was hit, with number of such homers at home/on the road shown in parentheses:
2nd: 1 (0/1)
3rd: 2 (1/1)
4th: 1 (0/1)
5th: 2 (2/0)
7th: 1 (0/1)
8th: 1 (1/0)
9th: 2 (2/0)
Total: 10 (6/4)
Here is the breakdown by score when the slams were hit, with number of such homers at home/on the road shown in parentheses:
0-0: 5 (1/4)
0-1: 2 (2/0)
0-3: 3 (3/0)
Total: 10 (6/4)
COMPLETE LIST OF HOME RUNS
Here, in chronological order, are all 10 times that a Cub hit a grand slam for the only runs in a victory. Each entry includes the opponent, the inning, the score when he homered and the final score of the game.
7/17/1928: Clyde Beck, at home vs. Phillies, 5th inning, behind 0-3; final score: 4-3
9/07/1947: Ox Miller, at Pittsburgh, 2nd inning, 0-0; final score: 4-3
9/09/1947: Cliff Aberson, at home vs. Dodgers, 8th inning, behind 0-3; final score: 4-3
5/26/1950: Roy Smalley, at Pittsburgh, 4th inning, 0-0; final score: 4-0
9/27/1964 (Game 2): Ernie Banks, at home vs. Giants, 5th inning, 0-0; final score: 4-2
9/25/1968: Ron Santo, at home vs. Dodgers, 9th inning, 0-1; final score: 4-1 (walk-off)
4/26/1978: Bobby Murcer, at Philadelphia, 3rd inning, 0-0; final score: 4-2
8/05/1984: Keith Moreland, at home vs. Expos, 3rd inning, behind 0-1; final score: 4-3
6/10/2006: Michael Barrett, at Cincinnati, 7th inning, 0-0; final score: 4-2
8/12/2018: David Bote, at home vs. Nationals, 9th inning, behind 0-3; final score: 4-3 (walk-off)
GRAND SLAM FOR ONLY RUNS IN LOSSES
Since 1901, the Cubs have lost 1,068 games in which they scored exactly 4 runs, 240 fewer than they have won.
In just 4 of the losses did all their runs come on a grand slam.
The first such defeat was in 1940, at Cincinnati, and the most recent in 2003, at Toronto.
Only 1 of the 6 games was at home, a 1959 game in which Ernie Banks put the Cubs ahead of the Braves, 4-2, when the cleared the bases in the third inning, but Cubs wound up losing, 4-11.
Here are all 6 such losses, in chronological order:
6/30/1940 (Game 1): Jim Gleeson, at Cincinnati, 5th inning, behind 0-4; final score: 4-7
5/18/1950: Rube Walker, at New York, 6th inning, behind 0-6; final score: 4-10
7/22/1952: Dee Fondy, at Boston, 4th inning, 0-0; final score: 4-6
8/29/1959: Ernie Banks, at home vs. Braves, 3rd inning, behind 0-2; final score: 4-11
4/19/1991: Andre Dawson, at Pittsburgh, 9th innings, behind 0-3; final score: 4-5
6/15/2003: Troy O'Leary, at Toronto, 6th inning, behind 0-2; final score: 4-5
Note that Banks is the only player who hit a grand slam for the Cubs' only runs in both a win and a loss.
Dawson's ninth-inning slam came as a pinch hitter, after a 1-out walk to Ryne Sandberg, a double by Mark Grace, a strikeout and a 2-0 pitch that hit Dwight Smith on the hip.
Dawson homered on the first pitch he saw.
But the Pirates quickly tied the score on a pair of singles off Dave Smith that put runners on the corners, followed by a wild pitch.
A bunt and a grounder left a runner on third with 2 out. Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds were walked intentionally. Jeff King then ended the game with a squib into short center.
MORE ABOUT 4-0 WINS
The Cubs have won 160 times by 4-0, the score of the one-of-a-kind game in which Smalley hit a grand slam in 1950.
The most recent of the 160 was their no-hitter at Los Angeles on June 24.
Three of their runs in that game came on a homer, a solo shot by Javier Baez in the first inning and a 2-run drive by Willson Contreras in the sixth.
They have won 20 other games by 4-0 in which they homered twice.
On June 29, 2012, they beat the Astros at home, 4-0, while hitting 3 home runs. Luis Valbuena, in the second, and Alfonso Soriano, in the sixth, homered with the bases empty. Steve Clevenger homered with a runner on base in the fourth.
In 48 more games, the Cubs won, 4-0, and hit 1 home run.
Eight of those homers produced 3 runs, the first by Frank Schulte, in 1904, at Brooklyn, and the most recent by Anthony Rizzo, in 2019, at St. Louis.
Here, in chronological order, are all 9 of those 3-run homers in 4-0 games, with the inning and the score when the homer was hit:
9/24/1904: Frank Schulte, at Brooklyn, 8th inning, 1-0
9/09/1913: Red Corriden, at home vs. Cardinals, 7th inning, 0-0
6/21/1934: Billy Jurges, at home vs. Giants, 2nd inning, 0-0
5/06/1958: Bobby Thomson, at home vs. Reds, 1st inning, 0-0
4/13/1960: Frank Thomas, at Los Angeles, 8th inning, 1-0
7/03/1977: Bill Buckner, at St. Louis, 8th inning, 0-0
8/10/1986: Gary Matthews, at home vs. Phillies, 1st inning, 0-0
5/15/1989: Lloyd McClendon, at home vs. Braves, 2nd inning, 0-0
4/29/1990: Andre Dawson, at Los Angeles, 6th inning, 1-0
5/03/2019: Anthony Rizzo, at St. Louis, 3rd inning, 0-0
In the 1913 game, the Cubs tallied their final run in the seventh inning, too, on a walk, a misplayed bunt, a fly ball and an infield error.
On Aug. 10, 1963, at New York, the Cubs and Mets were tied at 0 until the top of the ninth inning, when Lou Brock singled and Ellis Burton homered.
After an out, Ron Santo singled and Merritt Ranew walked. They pulled off a double steal, then both scored on a single by Ken Hubbs.
Those 2 games, and the 1 in which Smalley hit his grand slam in 1950, are the only 3 since 1901 that the Cubs hit a home run, scored all their runs in a single inning and won by 4-0..