On Aug. 6, Zach Davies lined out to center field in the bottom of the 10th inning, with nobody on and 2 out, ending an 8-6 loss to the White Sox.
That was his first appearance as a pinch hitter for the Cubs
It raised to 80 the total number of different players, ordinarily pitchers, who have pinch hit for the Cubs since 1901, according to data at baseball-reference.com.
They have done so a total of 283 times.
Davies has lots of company in failing to make a hit. No fewer than 61 of the 80 have done so, of whom 43, like Davies, have had exactly 1 at bat.
On May 2, Jake Arrieta became 0 for 4, as Rick Sutcliffe was, in 1986-91. Jason Marquis was 0 for 5, in 2007-08, and Paul Minner, 0 for 6, in 1950-54.
But the booby prize belongs to Lee Gregory: 0 for 9, in 1964, his only season as a Cub. He did walk 3 times, while striking out 5.
NOT A PITCHER
Danny Murphy was 0 for 14 as a pinch hitter for the Cubs in 1960-62. His name appears in the results of a query at B-R.com for pinch hits by players who were "Typically a pitcher."
But Murphy never pitched in a game as a Cub. He played in the outfield in 35 games.
The Cubs traded him to the Colt .45s in March of 1963, and in December they sent him to the White Sox. In 1965, he began pitching in the minors, and he ultimately pitched in 68 games for the Sox in 1969-70, enough games to be qualify as "Typically a pitcher."
NEARLY .300 BY THOSE WITH HITS
The 61 Cubs pitchers who pinch hit and went hitless are a combined 0 for 98, with 8 walks and 50 strikeouts.
What about the 19 who have at least 1 hit?
They are a collective 45 for 155, a more-than-respectable .290 average. They have walked 7 times and struck out 49, both just once less than the 61 with no hits.
The 19 with hits have an on-base percentage of .321, a slugging percentage of .381 and an on-base plus slugging of .702.
For comparison, all Major Leaguers in 2021 through Sunday had a slash line of .243/.316/.410/.726, vs. the .290/.321/.381/.702 of the 19 Cubs pitchers who have pinch hit and made at least 1 hit.
Of those 19, 10 had multiple hits as a pinch hitter. They combined for 35 hits, including 5 doubles and 3 triples, in 129 at bats, a .271 average. Take away their 42 strikeouts and they had an average on balls in play of .437!
Their 6 walks raised their OBP to .304. With their .357 SLG, they had an OPS of .661.
The 9 who had exactly 1 hit have even more eye-popping numbers when their individual numbers are added: 10 for 26 (7 singles, 3 doubles), plus 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. Their combined line: .385/.407/.769, for an OPS of . . . . 1.176! Their BAbip was a remarkable .526.
Here are the totals for all Cubs pitchers as pinch hitters:
283 plate appearances
253 at bats
45 hits (34 singles, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 0 home runs)
24 runs batted in
.152 batting average
.228 on-base percentage
.233 slugging average
.461 on-base plus slugging average
.292 average on balls in play
.391 percentage of strikes outs
11 sacrifice hits
0 sacrifice flies
2 hit by pitch
Isn't in strange that none of the 283 PA resulted in a sacrifice fly? The sac fly did not become an official statistic until 1954, but 50 of the 80 pitchers have pinch hit since then, and done so 116 times.
2 WHO WERE HIT
The most recent pitcher/pinch hitter hit by a pitch was Jeff Samardzija, in his only time pinch hitting as a Cub. On May 6, 2012, the Cubs and Dodgers were tied at 3 when Darwin Barney doubled to open the bottom of the 11th inning.
After Wellington Castillo was walked intentionally, Samardzija was sent up to the plate in place of reliever Rafael Dolis, in hopes of bunting the runners to second and third.
Instead, he was hit by the first pitch, loading the bases. David DeJesus then worked the count full and took ball 4, for a walk-off walk.
The only previous pitcher who was struck while pinch hitting was Rick Sutcliffe, in the first of the 6 times as a Cub that he took someone's place at bat.
It happened on Sept. 2, 1986, in the bottom of the 11th inning, with the Cubs and Astros tied at 4. Keith Moreland drew a leadoff walk, then Sutcliffe hit for Frank DiPino. After Sutcliffe was hit, fellow pitcher Scott Sanderson was sent in to pinch run for him.
Moments later, Moreland was thrown out while trying to steal third. The Cubs eventually loaded the bases, but could not score.
The game was suspended with the score still 4-4 after 14 innings. When it was resumed the next day, the Astros scored 3 runs in the top of the 17th, but Moreland homered with 2 on and nobody out in the bottom.
The Cubs had runners on first and second when the inning ended. The Astros then tallied what proved to be the winning run in the top of the 18th, when the Cubs' eighth reliever of the game surrendered a 1-out home run.
The reliever: 20-year-old rookie Greg Maddux, in his Major League debut.
During his 23-season career, the future Hall of Famer relieved only 3 more times, in 743 more games. All 3 came in 1987, his first full season, when he went 6-14. Over the next 21 years, his record was 347-209.
'MAD DOG' IN A PINCH
Maddux is among the 80 Cubs pitchers who pinch hit -- and the 19 who made a hit.
His first stab at pinch hitting came on June 2, 1991, and it truly was a stab. In the ninth inning, at Montreal, he was sent to the plate with 1 out, runners on first and second, and the Cubs behind, 3-2. But he struck out of 3 pitches, each time as he tried to lay down a bunt.
Fortunately, Mark Grace then drew a 4-pitch walk and Ced Landrum followed with a first-pinch single that sparked the Cubs to a 4-3 victory.
Maddux fared better on June 28, at home, smacking a single to lead off the sixth inning. One out later, he scored on a home run by Hector Villanueva that made the score: Cardinals 14, Cubs 5. The final score was 14-6.
Maddux's third and final pinch-hitting appearance also was against the Cardinals, at St. Louis, on July 11, 2004. With the Cubs in front, 7-1, Rey Ordonez opened the eighth with a double. Maddux then bunted him to third. The Cubs wound up winning, 8-4.
So Maddux had a career batting average as a pinch hitter as a Cub of .500, 1 for 2.
The highest batting average by any Cub pitcher when pinch hitting is 1.000, by Tony Kaufmann, Rodney Myers and Joe Borowski.
On July 16, 1922, Kaufmann singled to load the bases with 1 out in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs trailing the Phillies, 10-5. Two singles followed, each scoring a run, but on the second Kaufmann was tagged out at the plate. A ground then ended the game.
Myers doubled leading off the sixth inning at home against the Rockies on May 4, 1999. Lance Johnson then singled -- and Myers, too, was thrown out at home!
Myers stayed in the game to pitch, but stayed only long enough to get a strikeout, then give up a single and a walk. His replacement got the second out, then served up home run that tied the game at 8. The Cubs eventually won, 13-12, by scoring 2 runs in the ninth on a walk and RBI doubles by Tyler Houston and Mickey Morandini.
Borowski's only chance to pinch hit took place on Aug. 10, 2002, at Colorado. The Cubs led, 14-1, after Sammy Sosa hit his third 3-run homer in as many innings in the top of the fifth. A leadoff homer by Moises Alou in the sixth made it 15-1.
Borowski, batting for starter Mark Prior, began the seventh with a ground ball single. After a fly out, he was forced out at second.
He pitched the bottom of the inning, getting 2 grounders, giving up a single, then striking out the final batter he faced.
TOP PINCH-HITTING PITCHERS
Among those with multiple appearances as a pinch hitter, these pitchers had the highest batting averages:
.667: Les Sweetland (2 for 3: single and a double)
.571: Harry McIntire (4 for 7: 3 singles and a triple)
.500: Mordecai Brown (3 for 6: 3 singles)
.500: Don Cardwell, Dick Drott, Johnny Klippstein and Greg Maddux (all 1 for 2; Klippstein had a double)
.385: Lefty Tyler (5 for 13: 3 singles and 2 doubles)
.333: Tyler Chatwood and Dave Roberts (both 1 for 3; Chatwood had a double)
.281: Claude Hendrix (9 for 33: 8 singles and a double)
.273: Gene Lillard (3 for 11: 3 singles)
.267: Dutch Ruether (4 for 15: 2 singles and 2 triples)
JUST 1 OF 5 ABOVE .200
Those 13, plus the 3 who batted 1.000, are the only 16 Cubs pitchers who batted above .200 as pinch hitters.
They combined to go 38 for 102, slashing .373/.415/.480, for an OPS of .895. They had 6 walks and 27 strikeouts. Their BAbip was .506!
Of the remaining 64, just 4 had hits: Clay Bryant (.200, 1 for 5), Jason Hammel (.167, 1 for 6), Travis Wood (1.54, 2 for 13) and Carlos Zambrano (.103, 3 for 29).
Zambrano's numbers may surprise you. Considered a very good hitter for a pitcher, during his 11 seasons with the Cubs, he batted .241/.254/.395, with 26 doubles, 3 triples and 23 homers, including 6 in one season and 4 in two others. He had an OPS of .892 in 2008 and of .848 in 2011, his final year.
But his batting average was .248 when pitching, vs. his .103 as a pinch hitter.
The 64 at .200 or below combined to go 7 for 165, .042, with 8 walks and 72 strikeouts. Their BAbip was a horrific .075; their strikeout average, .436.
HENDRIX DID IT MOST
Zambrano pinch hit 30 times; he had 1 sacrifice bunt.
That is the second most PA as a pinch hitter in team history, behind Claude Hendrix's 33.
Dutch Ruether is a distant third, with 18. Only 4 others have had more than 8: Lefty Tyler (15), Travis Wood (14), Gene Lillard (13) and Lee Gregory (11).
Those 7 combined for 135 plate appearances, an average of more than 19, and 47.8 percent of the total 283 PA.
The remaining 73 combined for 148, an average of barely more than 2!
Hendrix also has the most hits, 9, which is nearly double the 5 by runnerup Tyler. Ruether and Harry McIntire had 4; Mordecai Brown, Lillard and Zambrano, 3; and Les Sweetland and Travis Wood, 2.
1 PA, 0 AB
Five pitchers who pinch hit just once did not record an official at bat.
Three sacrificed: Al Lary, in 1962; Ismael Valdez, in 2000; and Shawn Estes, in 2003.
Randy Martz walked, in 1981
WALKS AND STRIKEOUTS
Only 11 different pitchers walked. Gregory, Lillard, Minner and Ruether each had 2.
Zambrano had by far the most strikeout when pinch hitting, 14. Hendrix had 9; Ruether, 6; Gregory and Travis Wood, 5; and Arrieta, 4.
Arrieta is the only pitcher/pinch hitter who struck out in each of 4 at bats. Kyle Hendricks has 3 strikeouts in 3 AB. So did Kevin Foster, but he also made a successful bunt.
Alec Mills, Ken Holtzman and Mark Prior batted twice and fanned twice.
Sixteen others struck out in their only pinch-hit at bat. Rick Reuschel had 3 sacrifices in his other PA. Kerry Wood had 1.
Jon Lester, with 2, is the other pitcher with multiple bunts as a pinch hitter.
Six have done it once: Foster, Maddux, Taylor, Kerry Wood, Travis Wood and Zambrano.
PINCH, THEN PLAY
Several Cubs pitchers have pinch hit, then stayed in the game to pitch, such as Joe Borowski and Randy Myers, mentioned above.
Nine pitcher/pinch hitters another distinction: they pinch hit, stayed in the game, then batted again.
The first 5 times were before World War II. The it happened again in 1961, 1964, 1981 and 2000.
Here are all 9, in chronological order:
Sept. 26, 1906: Ed Reulbach
Made an unknown out pinch hitting at Brooklyn for Frank Schulte, who already had homered and single, then took over for Schulte in right field. Made a second unknown out.
July 20, 1921: Lefty Tyler
Singled as a pinch hitter in the third inning vs. Phillies, then pitched final 6 innings. Grounded out in the sixth and eighth.
Aug. 1, 1935: Fabian Kowalik
Popped up with 1 out in the third at Pittsburgh, batting for starter Lon Warneke, who had just given up 6 runs in the second, the last 4 on a grand slam. Pitched the final 6 innings, allowing no runs on 4 hits. Popped up in the fifth and flied out in the seventh. Was due up with 2 on and nobody out in the ninth but lifted for pinch hitter Freddie Lindstrom, who tripled home 2 runs, then scored on groundout, but Cubs still lost, 6-5.
May 12, 1936: Gene Lillard
Grounded into double play in the seventh inning at New York, then played third base. Flied out to end top of ninth. Giants won on 2-out single in bottom.
July 9, 1939: Clay Bryant
Grounded out in sixth inning at Cincinnati with Cubs trailing, 10-1, then played center field. Flied out in ninth.
July 28, 1961: Dick Drott
Struck out to end third inning vs. Reds with Cubs behind, 3-0, then pitched 4 innings. Singled with 2 out in fifth, putting runners at first and second, but next batter struck out. Solo homer by Ernie Banks made score 3-2 in sixth, but Drott gave up solo shot to Frank Robinson in seventh. Drott was due up with 2 out and nobody on in seventh but lifted for pinch hitter, who struck out. Cubs pulled to within 4-3 in ninth on 1-out RBI triple by Ron Santo. Next batter walked, but 2 after that took called third strike and popped up to catcher, ending comeback bid.
Aug. 16, 1964: Lee Gregory
Grounded out leading off fifth vs. Pirates, then pitched final 4 innings. Walked in seventh.
May 10, 1981: Lynn McGlothen
Struck out with runner on third and 2 out in 11th at Atlanta, then pitched last 4 innings of 14-inning, 5-5 tie. Grounded out in 14th.
May 11, 2000: Daniel Garibay
Struck out leading off bottom of third vs. Brewers with Cubs behind, 4-1, then pitched 2 innings. Made a bunt in fifth that put runners on second and third with 1 out and score 4-3. Next batter hit fly to left and runner from third was thrown out at home. Cubs ultimately lost, 14-8.