Cubs' most runners left on base in game

Which is a more frustrating way for a team to lose: getting only a few runners on base, or getting many and failing to bring them home?

Monday night, in their 12-1 loss at Pittsburgh, the Cubs left 13 men on base.

They have stranded more in only 5 previous games since 1901 that did not go into extra innings.



Their record for futility in a 9-inning game is 15 left on base, done 3 times.

The first was way back on May 11, 1905, in a 5-0 loss at Boston. The Cubs made 11 hits off Cy Young, who walked 4, and 3 batters reached base on errors, for a total of 18 runners. In Monday's loss, they had 15.

The Cubs did not leave 15 on base again until June 5, 1953, while losing to the Giants, 11-1 at New York. The Cubs made 8 hits, drew 7 walks and were hit by 1 pitch, but scored only on a 2-out triple in the fourth inning when they already trailed, 6-0.

The only time the Cubs stranded 15 since then was on Aug. 22, 2011, at home against the Braves. They lost, 7-0, despite 9 hits and 7 walks.



On Oct. 1, 1922, in their final game of the season, the Cubs lost at home to the Cardinals, 7-1, and left 14 on base. Twelve hits, 3 walks, a hit batsman and an error added up to 17 who reached base.

Their lone run came on a bases-loaded forceout at second in the first inning.

The Cubs also had 17 runners and stranded 14 on May 28, 1965, at Philadelphia, where they had 7 hits, 8 walks and were hit by 2 pitches. Ernie Banks' RBI single in the sixth brought the Cubs to within 2-1, but they left the bases loaded that inning and wound up losing, 3-1.



Monday's game was the 15th since 1901 in which the Cubs stranded exactly 13 runners.

The first was on Aug. 3, 1906, in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Philadelphia.

"The Spuds had a man at second base waiting for a hit in every inning except the third, when they died in order," said the Chicago Tribune, using its short-lived favored nickname for the Cubs. "In five rounds, there were Spuds at third and only one got any farther."

That one came "at the least promising of the many opportunities," the paper said.

"Two were out in the seventh when [left fielder Sherry] Magee hove in on [Harry] Steinfeldt's fly, misjudging it, then ran back and apparently caught the ball, only to drop it behind him.

"Steiny sprinted to second and Mr. Pinchhit [Joe] Tinker deposited a Texas leaguer safely in right field, squeezing home the run that won by a narrow margin, for [John] Titus barely missed nabbing Joe's fly after a long sprint."

Mordecai Brown scattered 6 hits and walked 2 in blanking the Phillies.


More than 125 years ago, that game remains the only one that the Cubs ever have won when leaving 13 or more on base.

They left 15 aboard in a 1-1 tie with the Giants on July 4, 1960, that was halted by darkness after 14 innings.

They have lost 31, including 12 that went beyond the ninth inning.



The last of the extra-inning defeats was on June 10, when the Cubs stranded 13 in a 13-inning loss at Yankee Stadium.

They had 15 LOB in 10 innings at Cleveland, on May 12, 2021, and in 18 innings at Miami, on March 30, 2018. All The Cubs lost each of those games by 2-1.

Until the 2018 game, they had not stranded at least 13 in an extra-inning game since 1994, when they lost at home to the Reds, 3-1, in 13 innings.



In their previous such loss, on May 17, 1991, at Philadelphia, they had tied the team record for LOB of 17 in any game.

The Phillies won the game, 1-0, on a 2-out single in the 16th inning.

The only earlier game in which the Cubs stranded 17 also went 16 innings: a 2-1 loss at home to the Cardinals on Sept. 30, 1972.



In both of those games, the Cubs had 19 runners. That is tied for their second most in any game in which they stranded at least 13. They had 21 in a 2-1, 21-inning loss to the Dodgers at home that began on Aug. 17, 1982, was suspended in the top of the 18th and was completed the next day.

The most runners the Cubs had in a regulation-length game while leaving at least 13 on base was 19, in the 1-0 win over the Phillies in 1906: 9 hits, 6 walks, 1 hit batter and 3 reached on errors.



Most runners left on base, 9-inning game:

15: 3 times

14: 2 times

13: 15 times

Total of 20 times

Most runners left on base, extra-inning game:

17: 2 times

15: 6 times

14: 2 times

13: 3 times

Total of 13 times

Most runners left on base, all games:

17: 2 times

15: 9 times

14: 4 times

13: 18 times

Total of 33 times

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