When Cubs walked 14 times -- and did not win

A previous post described an 1886 game in which the Cubs (then known as the White Stockings) received 14 walks.

They won that game, 15-2.

Twenty years later, the Cubs drew 14 walks again -- and didn't win.

It happened on July 18, 1906.



After starting the season 6-6, the Cubs had won 10 consecutive games. They split their next 6, then won 5 in a row to move into first place.

They dropped 3 straight at home to the Giants, May 20-22, to fall into a first-place tie with New York. A win over Boston the next day returned the Cubs to sole possession of the top spot and they never relinquished it.

They wound up 116-36-3 and remain the only team ever to end a season 80 games above .500. They wound up 20 games ahead of the runnerup Giants.

The Cubs' lead was 6 games after they beat New York, 6-2, on July 17, in the first of 4 games at the West Side Grounds.

Game 2 took place the following afternoon.


Many in the crowd of 12,000 had not yet settled in their seats before the visitors grabbed the lead.

After striking out the first batter, Cubs started Carl Lundgren walked the next 2. Then he barely avoided surrendering a home run when Frank Schulte caught a fly ball with his back against the right field fence.

Another walk loaded the bases for Art Devlin, who blooped a ball into short right that landed in short right, barely fair, and all 3 runners scored.


The Giants' pitcher was George "Hooks" Wiltse, a 26-year-old right hander in his third big league season.

In his first 2, Wiltse had posted a record of 28-9 and had completed 32 of 35 starts, 3 of them shutouts.

He began 1906 by going 8-2, including 2 wins over the Cubs, pitching 5 innings at Chicago on May 21 and 9 innings at New York on June 8.

He also threw 7 innings to earn a save against the Cubs on May 24.

In all 3 outings, he allowed 3 runs.

But since the June 8 wins, Wiltse had lost 4 straight starts. In the last, a 3-2 defeat on July 11 at Cincinnati, he had pitched 10.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and walking a season-high 5.

Even with those walks, Wiltse was averaging only 2 walks per 9 innings, 1 less than in his first 2 seasons.



In the July 18 game, Wiltse "made a start which boded gobs of gloom for the rooter," said the Chicago Tribune, which called the local team "the Spuds" in its account of the game. "In three innings three Spuds were cooked in a row, without anything which was even a thirty-second cousin to a hit."

He walked Jimmy Slagle, first up in the fourth, and threw up a wild pitch, but then retired the next 3.

Harry Steinfeldt coaxed the Cubs' second walk to open the fifth. He advanced to second on a groundout to third baseman Devlin. Johnny Evers drew walk No. 3, then Johnny Kling singled, breaking up the no-hitter and driving home Steinfeldt, with Evers racing to third.

Cubs player-manager Frank Chance set Solly Hofman to the plate in place of Lundgren.



Hofman "hit a bounder to Devlin, who tossed it to [catcher Roger] Bresnahan a couple of blocks ahead of Evers," who had headed for the plate.

"Johnny wisely doubled back to give the others a chance to advance. Devlin muffed Bresnahan's return, then grabbed the ball and fired it into the crowd near the stand."

Evers scored and Kling rounded third, expecting to be allowed to score, too. But home plate umpire Jim Johnston stepped in front of Kling and ordered him back to third.

Johnstone conferred with field umpire Hank O'Day, who ruled that Kling had passed second before Devlin's wild throw, and thus was entitled to advance 2 bases and reach home, tying the score at 3.

Giants manager John McGraw stormed onto the field to dispute the ruling, demanding to know why Kling was sent home when the umpires had held Hofman at second.

When Johnston asked if McGraw wanted them to place Hofman at third, the manager beat a hasty retreat to the dugout.



"The Spuds were satisfied to tie up the game and overlooked Hofman's right to third," said the Tribune. "But for that oversight the game might have been won there, for Slagle flied to Shannon.

"By this time Wiltse was pitching from the clouds and passed Sheckard (walk 4) and Schulte (5), filling the bases, but he made Chance hit the ball to [second baseman Billy] Gilbert, ending the disturbance."

Jack Taylor took over on the mound for the Cubs in the top of the sixth and Red Ames replaced Wiltse to start the bottom half.


Ames, a 23-year-old right hander, was in his fourth season, but only his second full year.

In 1905, he had gone 22-8 and led the league by averaging 6.8 strikeouts per 9 innings, while walking 3.6.

After winning 6 of his first 7 decisions in 1906, Ames had lost 2 in a row before winning a start at St. Louis on July 15. In that game, he surrendered 11 hits, but only 3 runs. He had walked 2.

Of the 2 relievers in the July 18 game, the Tribune remarked, "Taylor was stingy of both hits and passes, while Ames was a miser on hits, but handed out passes as if there was no such thing as an interstate commerce commission," issuing 9 the rest of the way.



In the eighth inning, Schulte reached second with 2 out. Joe Tinker grounded to shortstop Bill Dahlen, who bobbled the ball.

"Frank saw the fumble and dashed around third for home. Dahlen made a quick recovery and nipped Schulte at the plate by an eyelash only."

Evers walked, leading off the ninth, and was bunted to second. Walks to Taylor and Slagle loaded the bases with 1 out.

"But Sheckard hit a little fly over the infield. [Left fielder Spike] Shannon made a fine catch of it and, throwing without recovering his balance, doubled up Evers, who tried to score from third on the catch."



The first Giant singled in the 10th. Steinfeldt then pounced on a bunt and fired to second for a forceout.

Moments later, Ames bunted, too, but popped the ball to Taylor, who caught it and threw to first before the runner could get back, ending the inning.



"Chicago had an opening in the twelfth," said the Tribune, "which only the fastest kind of work by that villain, Devlin, closed.

"Sheckard drew Ames' eighth pass [No. 13 of the game] for a starter. Schulte laid down a bunt which Devlin far in toward the slab. He retired his man at first, but no one covered third and Sheckard made a dash for it.

"Devlin hustled back and a perfect return ball by [first baseman Dan] McGann nipped Jimmy and Chicago's last opportunity.

"Chance was passed after that [No. 14], but Steinfeldt grounded out."



And after that out, Johnstone declared the game was at an end.

"[I]t might have been possible to work in another [inning] before it was too dark," the Tribune explained, "but the teams were taking an average of twenty minutes to a round in the overtime innings and the 'umps' did not dare prolong the battle past 7 o'clock, as would have happened if the thirteenth had been finished."

The teams had battled for 3 hours and 12 minutes, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:42.

"The fans had a hard time getting transportation home on account of the late finish," said the Tribune. "The 'rush' hours downtown were over and the early theatergoers were beginning to crowd the inbound trains, when the thousands poured out of the ball park and swamped all surface and elevated lines for the time."



The Cubs had sent 50 batters to the plate, of whom exactly 3 made hits, all singles: 2 by Kling and 1 by Schulte.

Schulte also had a walk. The 13 other walks went to players who went hitless: 3 to Slagle and Steinfeldt; 2 to Evers, Sheckard and Taylor; and 1 Chance.

The Cubs struck out 5 times, hit into 2 double plays and left 11 on base.

The Giants concluded the deadlock with 45 plate appearances, 5 hits, 6 walks and 5 strikeouts.



At the time, the Cubs' 14 walks were tied for the second most in the Modern Era.

The Superbas (today's Dodgers) had walked 17 times in an 11-10 win over the Phillies in 1903 -- and the host Superbas didn't bat in the ninth inning.

In 1901, in one of most bizarre games in big league history, the White Sox had 14 walks but only 3 hits in a 21-7 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, who had 25 hits but only 2 walks.


The current record is 19 walks, by the Washington Senators in a 20-inning game against the Indians (today's Guardians) in 1971. The game began in Cleveland, on Sept. 14, and was suspended after 17 innings, with the score 5-5. It was completed at Washington 6 days later, with the Senators winning, 8-6.

Six teams have received 18 walks, most recently the Diamondbacks in 18 innings against the Phillies in 2013.

Two of those teams did it without extra innings: the Tigers, against the Athletics, in 1916, and the Indians, against the Red Sox, in 1948.

Since the Superbas did it in 1903, only 1 National League teams has walked 17 times in 9-inning game: the Giants, against the Dodgers, in 1944.



The 14 walks they received from the Giants in 1906 remained the Cubs' modern record until Aug. 9, 1942, when they walked 15 times while winning at Cincinnati, 10-8.

The 14th walk came with 1 out in the 18th inning. A single, an RBI double and a sacrifice fly followed. An intentional walk to Bill Nicholson set the record.


The Cubs drew 14 walks in a 9-inning game at St. Louis on May 11, 1958.

With the score tied at 6 and 1 out in the eighth, Walt Moryn doubled and Dale Long was issued the 14th walk. Bobby Thomson's 2-out single then put the Cubs in front. But the Cardinals produced back-to-back RBI singles with 1 out in the ninth to beat the Cubs, 8-7.


On Sept. 16, 1972, the Cubs walked 15 times while batting in only 8 innings, as they routed the visiting Mets, 18-5.


They had 13 walks in 8 games, most recently in a 7-4, 13-inning loss at home to the Brewers in 1999.

The last of their 19 games with a dozen walks was on Sept. 19, 2010, in 9 innings, at Miami.



The Cubs have played 149 games since 1901 in which they collected at least 10 walks.

They are 118-27-4 in those games, a winning percentage of .805.

Their most recent win was on Sept. 13, 2019, by 17-8, at home against the Pirates.

Their most recent loss was on May 6, 2019, by 6-5, at home against the Marlins.



In 67 of the 149 games, the Cubs finished with more walks than hits. They went 44-20-3 in those games.

They had 11 more walks than hits, 14-3, in the 1906 game against the Giants.

On Aug. 19, 1965, they had 10 walks while being no-hit by Jim Maloney of the Reds.

Those are the only 2 of the 149 games in which their walks exceeded their hits by more than 7.


In 17 of the 149 games, the Cubs had an equal number of hits, with a high of 11 of each, most recently in their 14-10 win over the Braves on April 14, 2018. They went 15-2 in those games.


And in the 65 of the 149 in which the Cubs had more hits than walks, they went 59-5-1.

The biggest difference was 15 hits, 25-10, in the epic 26-23 win over the Phillies in 1922.

They had 13 more, 23-10, in a 13-12 win over the Cardinals in 1937, and 10 more, 20-10, in a 14-4 win over the Dodgers in 1984.

All 3 games were at Wrigley Field.



The Cubs have won all 32 games in which they had at least 10 walks and at least 14 hits.

They lost 2 of 9 games with double-digit walks and 13 hits. They had 10 walks in both: 11-9, in 9 innings, at home against the Giants on Aug. 26, 19245, and 8-7, in 11 innings, at Cincinnati, on April 9, 2000



The Cubs went 7-7-1 in the 15 games in which they had double-digit walks but 5 or fewer hits: 0-1 with no hits, 0-3-1 with 3 hits, 3-1 with 4 hits and 4-2 with 5 hits.

The most recent win was by 2-1 over the Brewers on April 12, 2009 (10 walks, 5 hits).

The most recent loss was by 5-2 to the Padres on May 29, 2017 (10 walks, 3 hits).

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