Cubs' pinch runners, Part 2

Second of 2 posts


During the 122 regular seasons of the Modern Era, the Cubs employed a pinch runner 3,074 times.

The first was Frank Chance, at Brooklyn, on June 6, 1902; the most recent, Zach McKinstry, at Cincinnati, on Oct. 4, 2022.

903 of the runners scored, from Otto Williams, at home against the Phillies on May 14, 1904, to Nelson Velasquez, at San Francisco, on July 29 of last year.

They have scored in nearly every way imaginable: on walks and home runs, on squeeze bunts and sacrifice flies, on passed balls and wild pitches, on double plays and on errors at every base.

About the only ways they have not are on balks and catcher's interference.



110 times, a pinch runner scored the run that put the Cubs ahead to stay in the ninth inning or later.

121 times, he scored the tying run in the ninth or later.

That makes a total of 231 times, more than one quarter of all 903 pinch runs.



90 different players have scored the 110, late-inning, go-ahead runs.

The first was pitcher Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, at home against the Reds, on Sept. 18, 1904.

The Cubs scored in the first inning; the Reds, in the sixth. Then neither team scored again until Brown crossed the plate on a single by Jack McCarthy with the bases loaded and 2 out in the 17th.

More than 118 years later, that remains the latest go-ahead run by a Cubs pinch runner.

Ron Campbell scored in the 14th to break a 2-2 tie at Atlanta in 1966.

4 runners snapped ties in the 12th, 9 in the 11th, 20 in the 10th and 75 in the 9th.

The most recent such runner was Andrew Romine, at home against the Pirates, on Sept. 4, 2021.

Romine was on third and another runner on second, with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth and the score 6-6. Romine headed for home when Frank Schwindel hit a grounder toward the hole between short and third. The throw from the shortstop was up the line from first, Schwindel dove around the first baseman's attempted tag to touch first and Romine tallied the decisive run.


That was the 61st time that pinch runner has scored to go-ahead run at home in the 9th or later. It has happened 49 times on the road.

20 of the runs came with 0 out; 48, with 1; and 42, with 2.


Romine became the 78th Cub who has scored a lone late-inning, go-ahead run after replacing a teammate on a base.

Hal Jeffcoat did it 6 times among his team-record 27 times scoring as a pinch runner.

No one else tallied more than 3 go-ahead runs, a count shared by Matt Alexander, Max Flack, Lou Johnson and Mick Kelleher.

7 more scored twice, including Clay Bryant, the only pitcher with more than 1. The most recent was Darwin Barney.

Joe Girardi also had a pair of such runs.

On Aug. 4, 1989, at Pittsburgh, with the score 2-2 and 1 out in the ninth inning, he scored from second on a single.

The next day, he did it again, in exactly the same situation!

The Cubs won the first of those games, 3-2. They added another run in the second and won, 4-2.



The 121 late-inning, tying runs were scored by 93 different pinch runners, from Solly Hofman, on Sept. 17, 1905, to Javier Baez, on Sept. 19, 2019.

Both did it at home, against the Cardinals, in the ninth inning.

Hofman knotted the score at 3 when he sprinted home on a sacrifice fly that was the first out of the inning. A runner from second advanced to third. He then headed home on a grounder by Frank Chance and won the game when the catcher dropped the throw.

Baez scored from third on a grounder to the right side for the second out. It was the Cubs' third run of the inning and tied the game at 4. They lost, 4-5, on a home run in the 10th.


The Cubs won the game in which a pinch runner tied the score in the latest inning.

On July 25, 1991, at home against the Reds, the Cubs were behind, 3-4, with 1 out in the 13th. Jose Vizcaino was on third and another runner on first. Mark Grace grounded to the pitcher, who threw to second, trying to start a game-ending double play, but got only the forceout, as Vizcaino scored.

After a walk, Andre Dawson hit a line drive that was dropped by the right fielder, enabling Grace to score from second for a 5-4 win.

2 tying runs came in the 11th inning; 8, in the 10th; and 110, in the 9th.


71 of the tying runs by a pinch runner in the ninth or later have come at home; 50, on the road.

20 scored with 0 out; 52, with 1; and 49, with 2.


Tuck Stainback scored 6 times to tie the score in the the ninth or later.

Hal Jeffcoat did it 5; Miguel Dilone, 4; and Matt Alexander, Ced Landrum and Curt Wilkerson, 3.

10 more pinch runners pulled the Cubs even twice, most recently Javier Baez, for a total of 16 who did it multiple times.

78 did it once, most recently Ian Happ, on Aug. 12, 2018, when he jogged home from first on David Bote's 2-out, ninth-inning "Ultimate Slam" that beat the Nationals, 4-3.



156 different players scored the 231 go-ahead or tying runs by pinch runners in the ninth inning or later.

Hal Jeffcoat's 11 are 4 more than by anyone else.

Tuck Stainback did it 7 times; Matt Alexander, 6; Miguel Dilone, 5; and Max Flack, Lou Jackson and Ced Landrum, 4.

7 more, including pitcher Clay Bryant, did it 3, and 27 did it twice, for a total of 41 who did it multiple times. The most recent of them is Baez, with 2.

Jeffcoat and Alexander are the only 2 who scored both late-inning go-ahead and tying runs more than once. Jeffcoat had 6 go-ahead and 5 tying; Alexander, 3 of each.

26 others had at least 1 of both kinds, including 16 who had exactly 1 of each.

115 tallied 1 go-ahead run or 1 tying run as a pinch runner.



The game in which a Cub pinch ran in the latest inning took place on Aug. 28, 1930, at Wrigley Field, against the Cardinals.

The Cubs tied the score at 5 on a 2-run, 2-out double in the eighth.

The Cards tallied twice in the 15th, on a single, double and single with 2 away.

But the Cubs rallied for 2 runs of their own in the bottom half. Danny Taylor led off with a double and came home on a 1-out double by Gabby Hartnett. Les Bell then singled in Hartnett.

The score stayed 7-7 until the 20th, when the Cards got a 1-out single, a groundout and another single to snap the tie.

Hartnett opened the Cubs' half with a single, then gave way to pinch runner Zack Taylor, a pitcher. After a fly to center, Taylor reached second on a passed ball, but advanced no further, as the next 2 batter flied to right and to left.



On July 5, 1922, Bernie Friberg set a record that never can be broken.

Jigger Statz, leading off for the Cubs at Pittsburgh, was hit by a pitch, fracturing his forearm. Friberg went to first base and scored moments later on a triple by Charlie Hollocher.

Friberg stayed in the game, replacing Statz in center field, and came to the plate 5 times, making 2 singles, as the Cubs won, 11-5.

Statz was sidelined for 34 games, until Aug. 10.



6 subsequent Cubs have entered a game as a pinch runner and had 5 plate appearances:

--Kiki Cuyler, on June 24, 1935, after Freddie Lindstrom was injured sliding into third base in the second inning. Cuyler went 1 for 4 and was hit by a pitch.

--George Metkovich, on June 17, 1953, who pinch ran in the fifth inning, then singled with 1 out in the 16th and scored the winning run on a bases-loaded single. Metkovich went 2 for 4, plus a walk.

--Paul Popovich, on Aug. 4, 1969, after Ron Santo was hit by a pitch in the first inning. Popovich went 1 for 4, plus a bunt. Santo returned the next day and went 3 for 5.

--Carmen Fanzone, on Sept. 23, 1972, after Santo was injured reaching first on an error to start the second inning. Fazone went 2 for 5 and drove in 3 runs; none of the other 5-appearance pinch runners drove in any runs. Santo missed 1 game.

--Richie Hebner, on Aug. 1, 1985, after Leon Durham reached third in the third inning. A 2-out, bases-loaded triple gave the Cubs a 6-2 lead, but the Cardinals tied the score at 8 with 2 runs in the ninth. After Hebner struck out leading off the 14th, the Cubs loaded the bases and won on a bunt single by Larry Bow. Hebner was 0 for 5, with 2 strikeouts.

--Bob Dernier, Sept. 2, 1986, after Jerry Mumphrey singled to start the bottom of the ninth. Dernier stole second, went to third on a ground out and tied the game at 4 on a sacrifice fly. The Astros scored 3 runs in the 17th, but the Cubs quickly pulled even again, on a walk, a double by Dernier and a home run by Keith Moreland. But Houston regained the lead on a 1-out homer in the 18th, and Dernier was the last of 3 Cubs who flied out in the bottom, making him 1 for 5.



4 more Cubs pinch ran, stayed in the game, and had 4 plate appearances.

Among them: Ernie Banks, whose one and only appearance as a pinch runner came at Cincinnati on June 2, 1971, in the 2,504th of his 2,528 games over 19 seasons.

Jim Hickman, the starter at first base, was hit by a pitch in the first inning, loading the bases with 2 out. Banks ran for Hickman, then the next batter grounded out.

In the seventh, with the score 2-2, Billy Williams and Ron Santo smacked 1-out singles. Banks followed with a home run, the 510th of his career and last of his 222 on the road. He hit 2 more at home.

The most recent Cub to pinch run and then bat 4 times was Reed Johnson, after Marlon Byrd was hit by a pitch at Boston, on May 21, 2011.


1-3 PAS

In 14 games, a Cub pinch ran, then had 3 PA; in 62, 3 PA; and in 106, 2 PA, for a total of 189 times a pinch runner later came to the plate multiple times.

412 pinch runners batted once, for a total of 601 PAs by pinch runners.

Those 601 are 19.6 percent of 3,074 times that a pinch runner was used.


Of the 2,473 who pinch ran and had no PA, 1,828 -- 73.9 percent -- did not stay in the game, leaving 645 went into the field.



Banks' homer described above was 1 of just 9 by Cubs who pinch ran, then batted.

The others:

--Phil Cavarretta, on May 21, 1950, at Boston: ran in 1st after runner injured on steal, homered leading off 7th for final run in 2-3 loss

--Carmen Mauro, on Aug. 5, 1950, at Boston: ran in 11th, homered leading off 13th for 3-2 lead in 4-2 win

--Hal Jeffcoat, Aug. 13, 1952, vs. Reds: scored from third on groundout in 7th for 2-0 lead, homered with 1 out in 8th for final run in 7-0 win

--Jerry Kindall, Aug. 12, 1960, at Philadelphia: ran in 6th, homered in 8th to make score 6-8 in 6-10 loss

--Steve Dillard, Aug. 26, 1981, vs. Padres: ran in 8th and scored on 1-out sacrifice fly to tie game at 7, homered with 2 out and runner on first in 9th for 9-7 win

--Bob Dernier, May 21, 1987, vs. Reds: ran in 7th for Gary Matthews, whose RBI single had increased Cubs' lead to 7-5. After fly out, Dernier was caught stealing. Homered with 2 out and bases empty in 9th for 8-7 win.

--Jose Hernandez, May 4, 1999, vs. Rockies: ran in 3rd and scored on 2-out grand slam by Mark Grace that gave Cubs 4-2 lead. Homered in 4th with 0 out and 1 on, making score 7-2. In 9th, with Cubs behind, 11-12, drew walk and scored on double by Tyler Houston. After groundout, Mickey Morandini hit walk-off single.



Banks was 40 years and 122 days when he pinch ran for the only time.

Only 2 Cubs pinch runners were older: Dave Lopes (41 years/63 days) on July 5, 1986, and Gary Gaetti (41/36) on Sept. 24, 1999.

Lopes also was older than Banks when he pinch ran 7 other times in 1985 and 1986.

Lopes pinch ran in 2 more games as a Cub after his 40th birthday, for a total of 10.

The only other player past 40 to pinch run was So Taguchi, who was 40/79 on Sept. 19, 2009.



Danny Murphy was just 17 years and 316 days when he pinch ran on July 4, 1960. Then he did it again the next day.

Jim Woods did it back to back at 18/10 and 18/11, in 1957; Ken Hubbs, at 19/265, in 1961: and Cavarretta, at 19/286, in 1936.



The best-remembered pinch run by a Cub likely was Albert Almora Jr.'s dash from first to second on Kris Bryant's deep fly to right center for the first out in the top of the 10th inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series at Cleveland.

After an intentional walk, Almora scored on a double by Ben Zobrist that put the Cubs in front, 7-6, and they went on to win, 8-7.

The Cubs have used pinch runners 22 times in post-season games. Almora and Javier Baez are among 12 players who did it once. So is Greg Maddux, the only pitcher ever to pinch run in the post-season: Game 3 of the 1989 NLCS, at San Francisco.

The 5 who pinch ran twice are Ronnie Cedeno, Chris Coghlan, Jason Heyward, John Kane and Bill McCabe.

Don't recognize the last 2? They did it in the 1910 and 1918 World Series, respectively.



Almora and Maddux are among 8 pinch runners who scored in post-season games. The others: Henry Cotto, Doug Glanville, Terrance Gore, Leonys Martin, McCabe and Bill Schuster.

Schuster won Game 6 of the 1945 World Series, 8-7 over Tigers, when he scored from first on Stan Hack's 2-out double in the 12th inning.

Martin scored the decisive run in Game 3 of the 2017 Division Series, 2-1 over the Nationals, when he scored from second on a 2-out, 8th-inning single by Anthony Rizzo.

Maddux gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead in the 7th inning of Game 3 of the 1989 Championship Series at San Francisco when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryne Sandberg. The Cubs wound up losing, 4-5.

The 4 others all scored tying runs, all in the 8th inning, of games that the Cubs ultimately lost: Game 4 of the 1918 World Series (McCabe), Game 4 of the 1984 CS (Cotto), Game 3 of the 2003 DS (Glanville) and the 2018 Wild Card Game (Gore).

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