Cubs' games with 2 hits, both to infield

The Cubs made just 2 hits last Saturday in their 6-0 loss at San Diego.

Neither hit left the infield.

The first was a 2-out smash in the third inning by Miles Mastrobouni that ricocheted off the foot of pitcher Yu Darvish.

The second was a 2-out grounder in the seventh by Dansby Swanson that was fielded behind third by Manny Machado, but his throw to first was too late.

It was the first Cubs' first game in more than 30 years in which a pair of infield hits had been their only hits.



On Sept. 29, 1992, the final Tuesday of the season, the Cubs faced the Pirates in a night game at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs went down in order in the first inning against Zane Smith.

In the second, Andre Dawson grounded out, then Luis Salazar lined a ball to deep third for a hit, but Hector Villanueva grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Smith, tuning up for the playoffs, pitched a 1-2-3 third, then gave way to Paul Wagner.

Wagner yielded a 2-out hit to the right side of the infield in the fourth, then got Dawson to fly out, preserving the Pirates' 2-0 lead.

Over the next 3 innings, he yielded only a 2-out walk in the sixth.

Steve Cooke retired all 3 Cubs he faced in the eighth.

After Stan Belinda got the first 2 outs in the ninth, Mark Grace was safe on an error by the third baseman. Sandberg then tapped back to Belinda, who tossed to first to complete a 3-0 shutout -- the 20th time the Cubs had been blanked during the season.


Between that day and last Saturday at San Diego, the Cubs had played 5,733 games.

The had hit 27,087 singles, 2,998 of them to the infield.

They had made at least 2 of those infield hits in 651 games.

But each time, they had made at least 1 additional hit to the outfield.



The 1992 loss to the Pirates had come less than a month since the previous game in which the Cubs had been limited to 2 infield singles, on Aug. 31, at home against the Dodgers.

The Cubs not only scored in that game, they won it.

Through 6 innings, 1 Cub drew 1 walk from knuckleballer Tom Candiotti and another reached on an error. Greg Maddux meanwhile held the Dodgers to 3 singles.

Maddux gave up 2 more with 1 out in the seventh, both to the infield. He walked the batter on 4 pitches, loading the bases and bringing up Candiotti.

The pitcher made contact, but lined the ball at Sandberg for the second out, then Maddux slipped a third strike past Mitch Webster to end the threat.


Grace lined out and Kal Daniels struck out to start the Cubs' half.

Steve Buechele hit a liner up the middle that was knocked down by the second baseman. On a 1-2 pitch to Derrick May, Buechele stole second.

May smacked the next pitch through the legs of first baseman Eric Karros and Buechele raced home.

May immediately stole second and scored on a hit by Dwight Smith.

The Chicago Tribune's account of the game says Smith knocked in May "by lacing a single to center," but the play-by-play describes the hit as "Single to SS," which indicates an infield hit.

Maddux set down the final 6 Dodgers to wrap up a 2-0 victory. He gave up 5 hits, all singles; walked 1; and struck out 6. He threw 107 pitches.



Those are the only 2 games before last week that I could find in which the Cubs mustered just 2 infield singles.

There almost certainly were more. has searchable play-level data going back to 1914, but until 1988, the descriptions that can be searched often lack detail.

The site does not have an option to search for "infield singles" so I searched for singles that were fielded by the pitcher through shortstop, and/or were hit to their locations.

That found only 335 such hits in 1914-87: 223 through 1960, 78 in 1961 alone, then just 11 in the next 23 years.

It showed 7 more in 1980, 1 in 1984, 8 in 1985, 14 in 1986 and 1 in 1987.

The Cubs made 78,824 total singles in 1914-87, so the 335 infield hits represent just 0.4 percent -- 1 of every 235.

From the start of 1988 through last Saturday, the Cubs made 32,255 singles, of which 4,012 were to the infield. That is 12.4 percent -- 1 of every 8.



According to the data available, in 1914-87, the Cubs made at least 2 infield singles in 95 of 11,542 games -- 0.8 percent.

But from the start of 1988 through last Saturday, they had 2 or more in 926 of 5,558 -- 16.6 percent.

That adds up to 1,021 total games with multiple infield singles.

Here is how many of those games in which the Cubs made a specific number of infield singles:

2: 790

3: 150

4: 63

5: 12

6: 5

7: 1


3 FOR 3

In 1 of the 3-hit games, none of the hits reached the outfield.

The date was Oct. 2, 1991. The site was Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.

For 6 innings, the score was stuck at 0-0. The Cubs had 5 walks but no hits off Phillies starter Jose de Jesus.

Andre Dawson lined out and Hector Villanueva flied out to begin the eighth.

Then Luis Salazar swung at an 0-2 pitch and singled to deep third base.

Ray Sanchez took a ball, then singled to the right side, deep enough that Salazar reached third.

Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux was due up next.


"Maddux glanced into the dugout," Andrew Bagnato wrote in the Tribune, "but [Manager Jim] Essian didn't to lift a pitcher nursing a two-hit shutout.

"So Maddux strode to the plate and chopped a ball to third, then hustled to beat Dave Hollins' throw by a heartbeat."

Salazar scored what proved to be the game's only run, as Maddux retired 3 in a row in the eighth, then shrugged off a 2-out single in the ninth.


4 FOR 4

Just short of a year later, all 4 of the Cubs' hits remained in the infield in a game at Montreal.

Pitcher Shawn Boskie made the first of those 4, in the third inning.

The others were by Mark Grace, in the fourth; Alex Arias, in the fifth; and Ryne Sandberg, in the sixth.

Expos pitcher Chris Nabholz walked Arias just before Boskie's single. He walked Boskie immediately after Arias' single.

Those were his only walks, as he went the distance, striking out 10.

The Expos piled up 16 hits against Boskie and 2 relievers and won by 10-0.

The game took place on Sept. 26, 1992 -- 3 days before the Cubs would make just 2 infield singles against the Pirates, the feat they did not repeat until last Saturday.


In 6 games, 2 of the Cubs' 3 total hits were infield singles. The most recent of those was on May 28, 2011, in a 10-0 loss at home to the Pirates.

They have not had a game in which 3 of 4 hits stayed in the infield. They have had 2 of 4 in 7 games, most recently on June 17, 2018, in a 5-0 loss at St. Louis.



The Cubs' only game with 7 infield singles was on Opening Day of 1992, April 7, at Philadelphia.

Andre Dawson and Shawon Dunston each had 2 of the 7 infield hits. Luis Salazar, Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux had the others. All came against Terry Mulholland.

Mark Grace homered in the fourth inning after the first of Dawson's hits, pulling the Cubs to within 3-2.

Maddux and Dunston made infield singles to open the fifth, then Sammy Sosa doubled, scoring Maddux. Sandberg's sacrifice fly drove in Dunston and neither team scored again.



The most recent of the Cubs' games with 6 infield singles was on June 26, 2012, at home against the Mets.

Anthony Rizzo had the first of the 6, in the first inning.

Luis Valbuena was next, leading off the second.

The third infield hit, by Darwin Barney, gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead with 2 out in the third. Valbuena, who had just doubled home the tying run, was thrown out at the plate on the play.

Steve Clevenger beat out a hit to begin the fourth. He reached third on a conventional single by Starlin Castro and scored on a double by Rizzo.

After Barney singled with 1 out in the eighth, Clevenger dribbled a hit past the mound. Pinch hitter Reed Johnson hit a grounder to deep short. The throw to first was wild, allowing Barney to trot home.

Carlos Marmol walked the first batter in the ninth, then retired 3 straight to finish the 5-3 win.



The Cubs' have not had exactly 5 infield singles since Sept. 30, 1992, the day after they had made only the 2 such hits against the Pirates.

They made 11 total hits in a 6-0 triumph, including 4 by Sandberg and 3 by Grace.

Sandberg had 2 of the infield singles, as did Rick Wilkins. Grace had the other. It drove in the Cubs' first run. Wilkins' second drove in the last.

Maddux won his 20th game of the season. He gave up 7 hits, walked 2 and struck out 9.

It was by no means a "Maddux," however, as he threw 121 pitches.



It has been less than 2 months since the Cubs had 4 infield singles. They did it on April 11, while storming back from a 7-0 deficit midway through the second inning to beat the Mariners, 14-9.

Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger made the first 2 infield singles, in the first and second, respectively.

Yan Gomes did it with 2 out and Bellinger on third, resulting in the Cubs' first run.

Then Gomes did it again with 1 out in the third, loading the bases. Nelson Velazquez followed with a grand slam that put the Cubs in front, 8-7.

The Cubs ended the game with 18 hits, including a double and a conventional single by Velazquez.



The Cubs most recently had 3 infield singles while beating the Mets, 4-1, at New York on Sept. 13, 2022.

Rafael Ortega, Seiya Suzuki and Patrick Wisdom made the infield hits, which were among 9 total hits.

FanPosts are written by readers of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and as such do not reflect the views of SB Nation or Vox Media, nor is the content endorsed by SB Nation, Vox Media or Al Yellon, managing editor of Bleed Cubbie Blue or reviewed prior to posting.