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Cubs pull off an oddity: a win with only 26 plate appearances

May 9, 2012, 6:35 PM EDT

Bryan LaHair AP

When the Cubs beat the Braves 1-0 on Wednesday, they did it sending a total of 26 men to the plate. It was the first time since 2007 that a team had won a nine-inning game without every spot in the order getting three plate appearances.

Of course, to pull off such a feat a team needs to be at home, meaning it wouldn’t have to bat in the ninth. It would have to score at least one run, meaning the fewest number of plate appearances the team could have is 25. The Cubs had 26 today.

What’s really incredible is that the Cubs actually had five hits. However, the first two singles were erased on double plays and Starlin Castro was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run. As a result, Tim Hudson faced the minimum through six.

The Cubs went on to get their run in the seventh on a single, a sac bunt, a groundout and another single. The first runner scored, while the second was left on base, the lone runner left on base for the team. The Cubs then went down in order in the eighth before holding on to win 1-0.

The last team to win a nine inning game while sending 26 men to the plate was the Tigers, against the Indians, on Aug. 21, 2007. They won 2-1 on a pair of solo homers from Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen.

The 1992 Braves were the last team to win a nine-inning game sending 25 men to the plate. They beat the Pirates 1-0 on July 25 on a David Justice homer, the only hit allowed by Danny Jackson.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    A fun stat.

    In 1950, a 50 year old scribe looked to the heavens and asked God if The Red Sox would ever win the World Series . “Yes” the heavenly voice said, “but not in your lifetime”. He again looked to the skies asked God if the Cubs would ever win the World Series. “Yes” the heavenly voice said, “but not in my lifetime”.

    • Gonzo - May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM


    • polnika - May 9, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      That is so FUNNY….a proudlycanadian making a funny…..what does a canadian know about funny…..NOW South Park knows does that go again F..k Canada!!!!!

      • bravojawja - May 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        A short list of Canadians funnier than you, alphabetized for your convenience:

        Plus anyone ever on SCTV and Kids in the Hall.

  2. mungman69 - May 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    So which inning did only two batters bat. Was it the third? Who was first?

    • Gonzo - May 9, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Three batters in innings 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 8. Five batters in the 7th where they scored a run. None in the 9th.

    • astrofaninkc - May 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Numbers are hard.

  3. hushbrother - May 10, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    That 1992 Braves/Pirates game was the one in which Otis Nixon made that amazing leaping catch in the 9th inning to rob the Pirates of a tying home run.

  4. pkers - May 10, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    Couldn’t a home team send only 3 batters up per inning for the first 8 innings, enter the bottom half of the ninth tied at 0-0, and then the first home batter in the bottom of the ninth hit a walk-off homer, thus resulting in only 25 batters coming to the dish? I ask because the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph is throwing me off with this statement : “meaning it wouldn’t have to bat in the ninth.”

    • umrguy42 - May 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Also true.

      I would wonder if there could be some weirdness with dropped 3rd strikes / errors / steals allowing for only 24 PAs, but it’s not likely, I’ll grant you.

  5. captaincanoe - May 10, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    Is batting out of order considered a PA? How about a lead off HR and then the team continues to bat out of order? Theoretically they could win with 1 PA. I’m going fishing. Someone look it up.

  6. mqcarpenter - May 10, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Another great feat for the cubs to be proud of this season. Minimal input

  7. polnika - May 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Lets see they out pitched the other team…kept THEM scorless…..and and didn’t have to use all their at bats to do it….oh yeah THEY WON! Whats not to be proud of.. They could have had one hit (HR) and done the same thing….but when they left the field…I think they were happy with what they did…and yes the next couple of years…..they are not going to have to many proud moments….

  8. bla bla bla - May 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Cubs pull off an oddity: a win.

    I fixed it for you.

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