How Cubs ended their longest losing streaks

As you may have heard, the Cubs snapped a 10-game losing streak Friday by beating the Braves, 1-0.

That streak was the Cubs' third of double digits in the last calendar year, something they never had endured before.

During their 147 seasons in the National League, the Cubs have had 18 losing streaks of at least 10 games.

They did not have any until 1920, their 45th season, when they dropped 10 games in a row. Their longest is 14 games, to start 1997.



Before that happened, the Cubs won at least 10 in a row 20 times: 12 in 1876-1900 and 8 in the Modern Era. In 1906 alone, en route to a still-record 116 victories, the Cubs had winning streaks of 10, 10, 12 and 14 games.

They have had 36 total double-digit runs of success, twice as many as their 18 double-digit tailspins.



Friday's win was the 5th shutout that ended a losing streak of at least 10 games, but the first by fewer than 5 runs.

They won, 6-0, after losing 11 straight in 1943, and 5-0 in 1954 (10 straight), 1962 (10 straight) and 1970 (12 straight).

All the shutouts came at home except the one in 1970, which was at St. Louis.



The Cubs have ended 5 streaks with 1-run victories.

The 4 before Friday were by 3-2 in 1948, after 10 straight losses; 12-11 in 1982 (13 straight); 4-3 in 1996 (14 straight); and 2-1 last season (12 straight).

They snapped 2 other streaks with wins by 2 runs.

Their biggest streak-busting win was their first, 8-1, in 1920. Next is the 6-0 shutout in 1943, then 5 by 5 runs.

In the 18 wins that ended streaks, they outscored their opponents, 109-47, for an average score of 6 to 2.6.

In the 205 games during their 18 double-digit losing streaks, the average score was 2.8 to 6.1.



Friday's win was the Cubs' 12th at home to end a string of at least 10 losses. It was the first of those 12 against the Braves. As noted above, they also ended streaks against them at Boston and Milwaukee.

The Cubs also have snapped 3 long streaks against the Cardinals, Dodgers and Phillies. All the wins were at home except 1 at St. Louis.

They ended 2 streaks against the Mets and Reds, and 1 against the Giants and Padres.



Here, in chronological order, is how the Cubs ended each of their double-digit losing streaks:

June 12, 1920 (10 games)

Won at Boston, 8-1

Last 7 losses had come on road at start of road trip

Max Flack and Zeb Terry hit bases-loaded, 2-run doubles in the 2nd inning. The Cubs added single runs in 4 later innings, including a homer by Flack. Grover Cleveland Alexander went the distance, allowing 7 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5.


Sept. 19, 1943 (11 games)

Won Game 1 of doubleheader at St. Louis, 6-0

Last 6 losses had come vs. Cardinals, 2 at Chicago and 4 at St. Louis, during which Cubs had scored 1, 1, 1, 5, 1, 1 and 0 runs

With 1 out in 1st inning, Eddie Stanky reached second on a single, then scored on a double by Peanuts Lowrey. Bill Nicholson doubled home Lowrey. After a walk, Hank Sauer doubled home Nicholson. Score remained 3-0 until 7th, when Lowrey doubled and Nicholson homered. Lowrey smacked his 3rd double in ninth and Nicholson singled him in. Cubs finished with 12 hits: 1 homer, 7 doubles and 4 singles. Hank Wyse blanked Cardinals on 7 singles. He walked 1 and struck out 3.


May 11, 1944 (13 games)

Won at home vs. Phillies, 5-3

Losing streak began after Cubs won on Opening Day at Cincinnati. Last 4 losses came at home, including last to Phillies, 1-7.

Cubs trailed, 0-2, when Phil Cavarretta doubled and scored on sacrifice fly by Bill Nicholson. Cavarretta gave Cubs lead with 2-out, 2-run singled in 4th. Nicholson singled leading off 5th and came home on 2 more singles. Nicholson homered to start 7th, ending scoring. Ed Hanyzewski scattered 7 hits, walked 1 and struck out 5.


Sept. 21, 1948 (10 games)

Won Game 2 of doubleheader at New York, 3-2

Last 7 loses at come on road

Cubs' Johnny Schmitz held Giants hitless through 7 innings. He walked first 2 batters in 8th, then 2 forceouts produced first run by either team. Next batter singled, ending no-hit bid. In 9th, pinch hitter for Schmitz singled and was bunted to second. A fly out left Cubs 1 out from another loss, but Phil Cavarretta walked and Andy Pafko walloped a go-ahead homer. Giants began 9th with homer and walk. A line drive double play and a fly out ended their rally.


June 30, 1954 (11 games)

Won at Milwaukee, 9-7

All losses had come on road trip: 4 at Brooklyn, 3 at Philadelphia, 3 at New York and series opener at Milwaukee

Cubs took 3-2 lead in 7th on 2-run double by Randy Jackson and RBI single by Dee Fondy. Then they scored 6 times in 8th on 4 hits, 3 walks and an error. Bob Talbot's 2-out single drove in final 2 runs, which proved decisive when Braves rallied for 5 runs in 9th. Hal Jeffcoat gave up hit that made score 9-7, then issued walk to load bases before getting forceout at home and fly ball to end game.


Aug. 17, 1954 (10 games)

Won Game 1 of doubleheader at home vs. Reds, 5-0

All losses had come at end of 21-game road trip: 4 at Philadelphia, then 3 each at Cincinnati and Milwaukee

Hank Sauer's leadoff homer in 2nd inning was only run until 6th, when Ralph Kiner homered. Sauer doubled and Ernie Banks did, too, Sauer stopping at third. Dee Fondy singled home Sauer, then Walker Cooper greeted new pitcher with 2-run single. Howie Pollet held Reds to 4 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 8.

Note: Cubs had gone 21-18 between final loss of previous 11-game streak and start of this 10-game streak.


Sept. 16, 1962 (10 games)

Won at home vs. Dodgers, 5-0

Had lost 8 on road, last 2 at Los Angeles, then 2 at home to Dodgers

First 3 Cubs singled off Stan Williams in 1st inning, loading bases. They stayed in place when Ernie Banks flied out, then trotted home on grand slam by Nelson Matthews. Billy Williams produced only subsequent run with fly ball in 2nd. Bob Buhl pitched 4-hitter, walking 4 and striking out 6.


July 1, 1970 (12 games)

Won at St. Louis, 5-0

Last 5 losses had come on road, including final 2 at St. Louis

In 90-degree heat, Ferguson Jenkins and Jerry Reuss battled to a scoreless stalemate through 6 innings. Jack Hiatt of the Cubs walked to open the 7th and pinch runner Johnny Callison beat a throw to second on a bunt by Jenkins. After another bunt advanced the runners, both scored when the second baseman misplayed Paul Popovich's grounder. Billy Williams singled home Popovich, knocking out Reuss, then Williams came around on singles by Jim Hickman and Ron Santo. The Cubs' final run came in the ninth, when Williams and Hickman singled, and Ernie Banks grounded into a double play. Jenkins completed a 4-hit shutout in which he walked 1 and struck out 11.


Aug. 17, 1973 (11 games)

Won at home vs. Dodgers, 5-1

Last 6 losses had come at home

2-run single by Billy Williams in 3rd inning proved to be all Cubs would need to win. Paul Popovich doubled home a run in 4th, then Williams hit 2-run homer in 5th. Dodgers got only run off Bill Bonham on sacrifice fly in 6th. Bonham allowed only 3 hits in 8.1 innings, while walking 4 and striking out 9. Bob Locker notched final 2 outs.


April 29, 1981 (12 games)

Won at home vs. Cardinals, 6-1

Last 3 losses had come at home, against Phillies

Cubs scored on 2-out single by Steve Henderson off Andy Rincon in 1st inning. Cardinals tied score on Keith Hernandez homer off Mike Krukow with 2 out in 6th. Rincon was pulled after walk put runners on first and second with 2 out in 8th. Bill Buckner promptly doubled home both men. A single by Henderson, a triple by Leon Durham and a wild pitch gave the Cubs their 5-run bulge. Krukow gave up just 3 hits in 8.1 innings but walked 7, the final 2 in the ninth. Lee Smith came in and got a game-ending double play.


June 14, 1982 (13 games)

Won at home vs. Phillies, 12-11

Last 6 losses had come on road, 3 at Philadelphia and 3 at Montreal, before came home to face Phillies again

Cubs scored 5 runs off Steve Carlton in 2nd inning, all with 2 out, on 5 singles and a double. After Phillies closed to within 6-3 in top of 5th, Bump Wills hit 2-out, 3-run homer in bottom. Jody Davis' solo homer made score 10-6 in 6th and Leon Durham's 2-run shot made it 12-7 in 8th. First 2 Phillies singled in ninth. Bill Campbell entered game and surrendered 3-run homer, then single and wild pitch. Two groundouts made score 12-11. Another single followed before Campbell got the final out. Cubs finished with 19 hits, 4 by Wills. He and Durham each knocked in 4 runs.


June 26, 1985 (13 games)

Won at home vs. Mets, 7-3

Last 7 losses had come on road, 4 at New York and 3 at St. Louis, before came home to face Mets again

Ryne Sandberg and Gary Mathews singled to start 6th inning. Mets brought in reliever Roger McDowell to face Keith Moreland, who slugged 3-run homer that put Cubs ahead to stay. Sandberg hit 2-run homer off McDowell with 2 out in 7th. Richie Hebner singled off McDowell for final run in 8th. Cubs starter Roy Fontenot gave 6 hits, walked 1 and struck out 7 in 7 innings. Lee Smith finished up, allowing 2 hits, walking 1 and fanning 1.


June 11, 1994 (10 games)

Won at home vs. Dodgers, 7-4

In 7 of losses, Cubs had scored 2 or fewer runs, including 1 in 10th loss previous day

Pinch hitter Kevin Roberson led off 8th inning with first-pitch homer off Orel Hershiser that tied score at 4. Sammy Sosa then homered with 2 out and nobody out to put Cubs in front, 5-4. Hershiser left after walking next batter. Cubs then made 3 straight hits off 2 relievers, with the last, by Jose Hernandez, knocking in 2 runs. Randy Meyers got the final 3 outs to preserve the win for Willie Banks, who had given up 8 hits, walked 3 and struck out 2 in 8 innings.


April 20, 1997 (14 games)

Won Game 2 of doubleheader at New York, 4-3

Started season by losing 6 on road, 6 at home, then 2 at New York

Cubs trailed, 0-1, after 5 innings. Shawon Dunston was hit by pitch to start 6th. He, stole second, stopped at third on double by Kevin Orie and scored on wild pitch. Rey Sanchez then singled home Orie, putting Cubs in front, 2-1. They added 2 runs with 2 outs in 7th on RBI single by Jose Hernandez and double by Orie. Mets got 2-out, 2-run double off Turk Wendell in bottom of 9th but next batter grounded out.


May 28, 2012 (12 games)

Won at home vs. Padres, 11-7

Last 6 losses had come on road before came home to face Padres

In seesaw battle, Cubs trailed, 0-1; led, 3-1 and 3-2; trailed, 3-4; led, 6-4; were tied at 6; and trailed, 6-7, midway through 6th inning. Then Bryan LaHair singled leading off Cubs' half and Alfonso Soriano homered, putting Cubs in front for good, 8-7. Starlin Castro slugged Cubs' 4th homer of game in 3-run 7th. Others were by Darwin Barney and Ian Stewart.


July 7, 2021 (11 games)

Won at home vs. Phillies, 8-3

Cubs had lost first 2 games of series

Jason Heyward, Nico Hoerner and Rafael Ortega delivered consecutive 2-out RBI singles in 1st inning. Anthony Rizzo tripled home a run with 2 out in 2nd and scored on a single by Willson Contreras. In 6th, with 2 out and score 5-3, Joc Pederson singled home a run and Patrick Wisdom doubled home 2 more. Alec Mills (5.2 IP), Red Brothers (0.1), Andrew Chafin (2.0) and Craig Kimbrel (1.0) combined to limit Phillies to 6 hits.


Aug. 17, 2021 (12 games)

Won at Cincinnati, 2-1

Last 4 losses had come on road, including previous day to Reds, 5-14.

RBI double by Frank Schwindel in 3rd inning and homer by Ian Happ in 6th produced Cubs' runs. Kyle Hendricks blanked Reds until he surrendered 2-out homer to Nick Castellanos in 6th. That was only 3rd hit off Hendricks, who departed after 6th. Rowan Wick (0.2), Adam Morgan (0.1) and Codi Heuer (2.0) held Reds to 2 hits and no walks the rest of the way.


June 17, 2022 (10 games)

Won at home vs. Braves, 1-0

Last 4 losses had come at home to Padres

"Small ball" broke scoreless due in 8th inning. Jonathan Villar walked, was bunted to second, stole third and slid home just ahead of catcher's tag on fly ball by Christopher Morel. Braves loaded bases in 9th on 1-out walk and hit batsman, then 2-out walk, but David Robertson coaxed grounder to first for final out.

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