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Cubs' games with 10 or more bases-loaded PA

As you would expect, a team that loads the bases is more likely to score runs during the rest of an inning than it is when there are fewer runners on base -- or none.

There are multiple charts on the Internet that show run-scoring expectancy, each with slightly different numbers, based on the season(s) covered.

The most recent that I could find showed that teams could be expected to score:

2.32 runs if loaded with 0 outs

1.63 runs with 1 out

0.77 runs with 2 out

With nobody on base, in contrast, the values are 0.53 with 0 out, 0.29 with 1 out and 0.11 with 2 out.

...

Since loading the bases leads to more runs, and scoring more runs results in more victories, it follows that the more times a team loads the bases, the more likely it is to win.

But frequently loading the bases is no guarantee of victory.

Nearly 20 years ago, the Cubs sent 10 batters the plate with runners on every base. Yet they still lost the game!

The date was Sept. 12, 2002. The place was Cinergy Field in Cincinnati.

..........

WOEFUL, BEGINNING TO END

In 1999 and 2000, the Cubs had won only 67 and 65 games, and had finished each season last in the 6-team NL Central Division.

In 2001, they had finished 88-74 and placed third, just 5 games out of first.

But they went 8-16 in April of 2002 and never had a winning record in any of the months that followed.

A loss at home to the Reds on June 25 dropped the Cubs to fifth place and that's where they stood after each of their remaining 88 games, as they wound up 67-95.

They were spared from the cellar only because the Brewers were 56-106 -- but 10-7 vs. the Cubs.

On Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 9-11, the Cubs won 2 of 3 at home against the Expos. That made their record 62-84 as they began a 4-game series at Cincinnati the next day. The Reds were 71-74, good for third place.

..........

QUICK START

The Cubs loaded the bases as soon as possible in the series opener.

Reds starter Shawn Estes walked Bobby Hill to start the game. His next pitch hit Corey Patterson, then he walked Sammy Sosa on a full count.

Moises Alou took a strike, then lined a single that scored Hill and left the bases full. (loaded PA 1)

Fred McGriff (2) took a called third strike.

Kevin Orie (3) singled, driving home Patterson.

Alex Gonzalez (4) struck out swinging.

Mike Mahoney (5) smacked a double that cleared the bases, giving the Cubs a 5-0 lead.

Don't remember Mahoney? The catcher played 4 games for the Cubs in 2000, then 16 in 2002, batting .222/.282/.333 in 40 PA. He played 26 more big league games, for the Cardinals, in 2005.

..........

3 Ks, 2 HRs

Cubs pitcher Steve Smyth notched 3 strikeouts in the bottom of the inning, but gave up back-to-back doubles between the first 2, making the score 5-1.

The Cubs got that run back in the second on a double by Hill and a single by Patterson that knocked out Estes.

The first 2 Reds then hit home runs. The third doubled and scored on a bunt and a groundout, bringing the Reds to within 6-4.

The Cubs got a leadoff walk and 2 singles in the third, but the walk was followed by a double play. Todd Hundley, batting for Smyth, flied out to end the inning.

...

Orie and Gonzalez opened the fifth with singles off new reliever Jared Fernandez. Orie came home on a 2-out single by Hill: 7-4.

Jose Guillen hit a 1-out solo homer off Pat Mahomes in the Reds' half: 7-5.

..........

WASTED OPPORTUNITY

Sosa singled to start the sixth. With 1 out, McGriff doubled. Scott Sullivan replaced Fernandez and struck out Orie.

But he missed on a 3-2 pitch to Gonzalez, loading the bases.

Mahoney (loaded PA 6) swung at the first pitch and popped up, stranding the runners.

...

The Reds then loaded the bases against new Cubs reliever Will Cunnane, on a 1-out double, a single and a walk.

Cunnane got the second out, on a popup, only to surrender a 2-run single to Guillen that tied the score and a 2-run double that put the Reds in front for the first time, 9-7.

.........

5 UP, 5 ON

The first 5 Cubs reached base in the seventh against Joey Hamilton, the Reds' fifth pitcher.

Mark Belhorn tripled and scored on a single by Hill. A double by Patterson and a walk to Sosa loaded the bases.

Alou (loaded PA 7) singled on the next pitch, tying the game.

McGriff (8) swung on 3-0 and hit a fly to center, too short to bring home Hill from third.

Pinch hitter Chris Stynes (9) popped up to first.

Gonzalez (10) struck out swinging.

...

The Reds came right back with 2 runs of their own off Francis Beltran. The first came on a single, a walk and a bunt plus an error; the second, on a sacrifice fly: 11-9.

..........

SEEING DOUBLE

Mahoney, first up in the Cubs' eighth, delivered a his second double. He had only 2 others during his brief tenure with the team.

He scored on a 1-out single by Hill, who took second when the left fielder's throw home skipped past the plate: 10-11

Patterson smacked the next pitch for a double, driving in Hill: 11-11

Sosa was walked intentionally. After Alou struck out Bruce Chen relieved Hamilton. McGriff lined Chen's first pitch for a go-ahead single: 12-11

.........

RELIEVER UNRAVELS

Kyle Farnsworth was the Cubs' pitcher in the eighth. He allowed a leadoff single, registered a strikeout and surrendered a double, putting runners on second and third.

Ken Griffey Jr. pinch hit and was walked intentionally, loading the bases.

Farnsworth got the second out on 3 pitches. His first pitch to the next batter was a strike, too. But the pitch after that was wild, permitting the tying run to score: 12-12

On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Farnsworth missed the strike zone, loading the bases.

He then threw 7 pitches to Todd Walker, the last of which was drilled to deep left-center, clearing the bases: 12-15.

And that's how the game ended, as the Cubs went down in order in the ninth.

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ONE OF A KIND LOSS

The Cubs were beaten despite making 22 hits and drawing 6 walks. It is their only 9-inning game in the Modern Era in which they made that many hits and lost.

The Cubs have lost only 1 game since 1901 in which they made more hits: 26, in the epic, 23-22, 10-inning loss to the Phillies on May 17, 1979.

They also had 22 in 2 other losses: 12-9, to the Braves, in 10 innings, in 1921, and 8-7, to the Cardinals, in 20 innings.

Only 3 Cubs batted with the bases loaded against the Phillies, 1 against the Cardinals and none against the Braves.

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5 OF 16,756

From the start of 1915, the first season for which baseball-reference.com has searchable play-by-play data, through Friday, the Cubs have played 16,756 games.

They had at least 10 batters with the bases loaded in only 5.

They won the 4 other than in 2002 at Cincinnati.

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BAKER'S DOZEN

The team record is 13 bases-loaded plate appearances, on Sept. 1, 1985, during a 15-2 shellacking of the Braves at Wrigley Field.

All 13 came in just 4 consecutive innings:

Third inning

1. Thad Bosley walked with nobody out, forcing in run

2. Davey Lopes flied out, runners holding

3. Keith Moreland fouled out

4. Leon Durham walked, forcing in run

5. Chris Speier walked, forcing in run

6. Steve Lake grounded to pitcher

Fourth inning

7. Lopes flied out with 1 out

8. Moreland singled, scoring 2 runs

9. Spier, following intentional walk, flied out

Fifth inning

10. Bosley singled with 1 out, scoring 2 runs

(Single and double each scored 1 run, then came intentional walk)

11. Spier grounded out, scoring run

12. Derek Botelho, after intentional walk, popped up

Sixth inning

13. Speier singled with 2 out, scoring 2 runs

.........

FIRST WITH 12

Twice, the Cubs had 12 PA with runners on every base.

The first of those games was on June 28, 1978, at home against the Mets.

They trailed, 4-1, when they came to bat in the seventh.

A single and 2 walks brought up Steve Ontiveros, who doubled home 2 runs.

After a walk, Ivan de Jesus singled, tying the game

Bobby Murcer popped up.

Dave Kingman hit a sacrifice fly, putting the Cubs on top, 5-4.

After a walk, Larry Biittner popped up.

The Mets pulled even on a home run in the eighth.

...

In the Cubs' half, a walk, double and intentional walk loaded the bases.

Rudy Meoli lined out.

De Jesus grounded to the shortstop, who threw home to force out the runner.

Murcer singled home a run.

Kingman singled home 2 more.

The Mets responded with a walk and a homer to start the ninth, then tied the score at 8 on a 2-out hit with runners on the corners.

The Cubs loaded the bases with 1 out on a walk, a bunt, an intentional walk, a wild pitch and another intentional walk.

Pitcher Ray Burris hit into a forceout at home.

De Jesus flied out.

...

The first 2 Mets singled in the 10th, but Burris got out of the jam.

The first Cub was retired in the bottom of the inning. A hit batsman, a single and an intentional walk loaded the bases, and Mick Kelleher ended the game with a single.

...

Until that day, the Cubs never had had more than 9 PA with the bases loaded in a game. They had done that on Aug. 8, 1965, while scoring 6 runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Mets, 14-10.

Their previous high of 8 PA had stood since July 2, 1939, when they beat the Reds, 9-8, on Jim Gleeson's bases-loaded hit with 2 out in the ninth.

..........

SECOND WITH 12

The Cubs' only other 12-PA game was on Sept. 5, 1988, at home against the Phillies.

With the Cubs down 2-0 in the second, Shawon Dunston and Rick Sutcliffe made outs with 3 aboard.

In the third, a double, a walk, an RBI single and walk filled the bases again.

Mitch Webster singled in a run.

So did Vance Law.

Jody Davis walked, forcing a runner home.

Dunston hit into a forceout at second as a run scored.

A throwing error by the catcher on a steal allowed another run to score. A walk and a single produced 1 more.

Yet another single loaded the bases for Mark Grace, who lined a sacrifice fly, making the score 8-2.

A walk put 3 on for a sixth time inning. Mitch Webster flied out.

...

The final 4 bases-loaded PA came in the eighth. The Cubs already had scored 1 run, increasing their lead to 11-3, when an error and a walk filled the bases.

Doug Dascenzo walked, forcing in a run.

Ryne Sandberg singled, driving in another

Grace grounded to first, with the runner from third coming home.

A walk loaded the bases one final time. Darrin Jackson flied out.

..........

WIN WITH 10

The only game other than the loss at Cincinnati in which the Cubs had 10 PA with all bases occupied was at Wrigley Field on Sept. 15, 2009.

They gave up 5 runs in the top of the fifth to fall behind the Brewers, 5-4, then scored 1, 5, 2 and 1 runs in their next 4 innings and won by 13-7.

Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch with the bases full in the sixth, giving the Cubs the lead, then Geovany Soto singled home 2 runners.

In the seventh, a walk and a hit batsman forced in runs. All 3 outs came with 3 on base.

With 2 out in the eighth, a walk forced in the Cubs' final run, then Soto flied out.

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6 PA IN 1 OF 100 GAMES

According to data at baseball-reference, the Cubs have played 166 games since 1915 in which at least 6 batters came up with the bases loaded -- 0.99 percent of their 16,756 games through Friday.

19 of the 166 games went into extra innings, the longest of which lasted 15, a 7-4 win at Milwaukee in 2000. The Cubs had 6 PA with 3 on in that game.

The breakdown of games with each number of PA:

13: 1

12: 2

10: 2

9: 6

8: 15

7: 49

6: 91

During the 75 season through 1989, there were 93 such games. There have been 73 in just the 33 seasons since, including 9 in 2009 alone.

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DAZZLING RECORD

The Cubs won 137 of the games and lost 29, an .825 winning percentage.

In the wins, they averaged 9.9 runs per game and outscored their opponents by an average of 6.1.

They won by at least 10 runs 26 times, with a high of 19: 21-2 over the Phillies in 1938 (6 PA) and 20-1 over the Dodgers in 2001 (7).

17 wins came by a single run, including by 3-2 in 10 innings at San Francisco in 1979 (7 PA).

They scored at least 10 runs in 72 of the games, and in those they went 69-3.

The double-digit losses were 12-17 to the Reds, in 1929 (6 PA); 14-16 to the Pirates, in 1970 (6 PA); and the 12-15 defeat by the Reds, in 2002 (10 PA).

...

In all 29 losses, they averaged 6.3 runs and were outscored by an average of 2.5.

Ten of the losses were by 1 run, including by 3-2 at Cincinnati in 1963 (6 PA).

They played 2 other games in which they scored only 2 runs, losing 4-2 at home to the Phillies in 2000 (6 PA) and 6-2 to the Mets at New York in 2009 (7).

Their most lopsided loss with at least 6 PA was by 7 runs, 11-4, at Montreal, in 1969.

In all, besides the 10-PA loss at Cincinnati in 2002, they lost 3 games in which they had 8 PA, 5 games in which they had 5, and 30 in which they had 6.

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