Some peculiar scoring patterns

The scores of the Cubs' 4-game series at San Diego that ended Monday followed a peculiar pattern.

The Cubs gave up 1 run in the first game and won.

They were shut out while losing the second game.

They gave up 1 run again in the third game and won.

They were shut out again in the finale.


I examined the Cubs' game-by-game scores for each season since 1901, first of the Modern Era.

I could not find an earlier span of 4 games with that exact sequence of wins while allowing 1 run alternating with scoreless defeats.

I did find several spans in which the Cubs held opponents to a lone run in 2 wins and were blanked in 2 losses.



The Cubs increased their lead in the standings to 4 games by sweeping a doubleheader at home against the Giants, 5-2 and 10-2, on Sept. 5, 1945.

They beat New York the next day, 6-1, as Hank Borowy scattered 7 hits and Bill Nicholson hit a 2-run homer.

The following day, the Cubs managed only 6 singles off Sal Maglie and lost, 2-0.

They made 8 hits and drew 3 walks in the final game of the series, but stranded 11 runners in a 3-0 loss.


The Cubs ended their scoring drought in a hurry when they began a series against the Braves.

A walk, a single and an error loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, then another walk forced in a run.

A sacrifice fly and a 2-run double by Peanuts Lowrey produced 3 more runs and knocked out starter Al Javery. Another double then made the score 5-0.

Lowrey doubled home the second of 2 runs in the fifth and hit the second of 2 sacrifice flies in the seventh, giving him 4 RBI.

Ray Prim meanwhile blanked the Braves until the seventh, when he gave up 3 the 5 hits he allowed.

So, from Sept. 6-9, the Cubs gave up 1 run in a win, were shut out twice, then gave up 1 run in another win.



The Cubs have done this 4 times.

April 18-22, 1933

With no score and 1 out in the bottom of the seventh against the Pirates, 2 batters reached base on errors. Gabby Hartnett then doubled both home.

2-out doubles in the eighth by Riggs Stephenson and Frank Demaree added a run.

Lon Warneke gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth, then retired 3 in a row to complete a 7-hit, 3-1 win.


The Cubs won by the same score the next day at St. Louis, as Pat Malone outdueled Dizzy Dean, finishing with a 6-hitter.

2-out singles by Woody English and Babe Herman knocked in the Cubs' first 2 runs in the sixth.

The Cardinals scored in the seventh on a leadoff triple and 1-out sacrifice fly.

Billy Herman doubled and Babe Herman singled him home in the eighth.


But the Cubs were held to 5 hits the following afternoon, as they lost, 4-0. The Cardinals made 14 hits, including 4 each by Sparky Adams and George Watkins, the top 2 in their batting order.

The Cubs also made just 5 hits the next day in a 2-0 defeat.


Sept. 25-30, 1966

After dropping 2 games at home to the visiting Dodgers on Friday, Sept. 23, the last-place Cubs had 99 losses.

They avoided No. 100 on Saturday, 4-0, as Ferguson Jenkins pitched a 4-hitter.


They did it again on Sunday, beating Sandy Koufax, 2-1. Their runs came in the first, on a walk, a triple by Glenn Beckert and a 2-out infield error.

Ken Holtzman had not allowed a hit through 8 innings, facing only 24 batters.

A leadoff single ended his no-hit bad. A walk and a 1-out single ended his shutout. But Beckert preserved the victory by snaring a line drive and stepping on second to double off the runner.


The Cubs had Monday off, then were rained out at New York on Tuesday.

The teams played a doubleheader on Wednesday, with the Cubs winning the first game, 4-1. They smacked 16 hits, including a solo homer by Ron Santo, while Dick Ellsworth worked around 9 hits to gain his 8th win against 21 losses.

Game 2 was scoreless until the bottom of the seventh. Rich Nye gave up a leadoff single. A bunt and a groundout advanced the runner to third. Following a walk, Cleon Jones' infield hit scored what proved to be the only run of the game.


The Cubs then had another day off before facing the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday.

Jenkins yielded only 5 hits, but 1 of them was a 2-run homer, and that made the difference, as the Cubs were blanked on 2 doubles and a single.


Aug. 29-Sept. 1, 2019

The Cubs completed a 3-game sweep of the Mets at New York, 4-1, as Jon Lester and 3 relievers combined on a 5-hitter.

Victor Caratini drove in all of the Cubs' runs with a pair of homers off Jacob deGrom: a solo shot in the second and a tie-breaking 3-drove blast in the seventh.

Back home, the Cubs opened a 5-0 lead over the Brewers after 2 innings and coasted to a 7-1 victory.

Nick Castellanos homered with a man on base in the first and the second. Pitcher Jose Quintana doubled home a run and did not allow any in 5.2 innings. The Brewers scored off Pedro Strop in the eighth.

Kyle Schwarber led off the Cubs' half with a homer.


Then the Cubs did not score again for the rest of the series.

On Saturday, the Brewers scored their only 2 runs on a double, 2 walks and a single off Cole Hamels. 5 pitchers held the Cubs to 6 hits, of which only 1 was for extra bases: a double by Hamels.

On Sunday, the Brewers used 7 pitchers and the Cubs 8 before Milwaukee prevailed, 4-0. It was 1-0 with 2 out in the ninth, when Craig Kimbrel served up a 3-run homer to Christian Yelich.

All 4 of the Cubs' hits were singles.



The Cubs had been in first place by half a game after beating the Phillies at home on June 14, 1947.

Then they lost 4 in a row and 10 of 12, to drop to fourth place, 5 games behind.

A 7-game skid in July left them in sixth, 12 games to the rear.

On Aug. 7, they dropped a third straight game, 3-0, at home to the Pirates. Ralph Kiner hit a solo homer off Hank Borowy in the second inning and added a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the visitors' final run.

The Cubs failed to score despite having 3 doubles and a triple among their 7 hits.


They made 12 hits the next day in the opener of a series against the Reds. The 12th was a 1-out, walk-off homer by Bill Nicholson in the 11th inning.

Johnny Schmitz went the distance for the Cubs. He gave up 10 hits and walked 5. The lone run came in the fifth, when the Reds loaded the bases with 1 out, then the Cubs could not complete a 3-6-3 double play.


The Reds needed only 3 batters to score the following afternoon, on a 1-out single and RBI double.

The Cubs responded with 2 runs in their half, then broke the game open with 6 more in the fifth, 3 on a 2-out, bases-loaded double by Clyde McCullough.

The first was singled home by Paul Erickson, who had relieved starter Russ Meers after 2 innings. Erickson completed the game, allowing no runs on 4 hits in 7 innings.

In the rubber game on Sunday, the Reds turned 4 hits off Claude Passeau into 3 runs in the fourth and never looked back, winning 5-0.

All of the Cubs' 8 hits were singles. They also had 4 walks, but left the bases loaded once and stranded 2 runners twice.



On July 20-25, 1908, the Cubs gave up a total of 2 runs in 4 games, but went 2-2.

They lost, 1-0; won, 2-0; and lost, 1-0, at New York, then came home and beat Boston, 8-0.


On June 30, 1915, the Cubs split a doubleheader at Cincinnati, losing, 0-1, and winning, 2-0.

The next 2 days, at home against the Pirates, they lost, 4-0, then won, 2-1.


On Sept. 2-5, 1936, the Cubs alternated shutout wins and shutout losses.

They beat the Dodgers at home, 4-0, before losing, 1-0, in 10 innings.

Then they journeyed to Pittsburgh, where they won, 8-0, and lost, 1-0.

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