Monday, May 20, 2024
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Cubs draw six bases-loaded walks in the same inning vs. Pirates — the most in MLB in 65 years

The Chicago Cubs put together one of the oddest seven-run innings you’ll ever see on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates (box score). The Cubs faced four different Pirates pitchers during the fifth inning, including the debuting Paul Skenes, and waited out a rain delay. Nevertheless, they scored six of those seven runs by drawing bases-loaded walks. (Yes, you read that right.) 

That’s the most bases-loaded walks in an inning by any MLB team since the White Sox walked eight times with the bags full against the A’s on April 22, 1959, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

Michael Tauchman (double) and Seiya Suzuki (infield single) reached against Skenes to begin the fifth inning. The Pirates then removed Skenes in favor of reliever Kyle Nicolas, who struck out Cody Bellinger and Christopher Morel. At that point, the Cubs’ rally appeared to be on life support. Yet Nicolas then hit Ian Happ with a pitch, and that’s where the inning began to go off the rails.

Nicolas walked Nico Hoerner on four pitches, then Michael Busch on four pitches, and then Miles Mastrobuoni on another four pitches. At that point, the Pirates mercifully made a pitching change, inserting veteran lefty Josh Fleming. Alas, he suffered a similar fate. Fleming walked Yan Gomes and allowed an infield single to Tauchman. That tied the game at 6-6. To think, the Pirates held a 6-1 lead when the inning began, and had recorded two outs before allowing a run in the frame.

The game then entered into a rain delay that lasted more than an hour. When play resumed, the Pirates went to yet another pitcher, right-hander Colin Holderman. You can guess what happened next. Yup, Holderman issued two more bases-loaded walks: one to Suzuki and another to Bellinger, giving the Cubs a seven-run frame and an 8-6 lead. 

Holderman did, finally, retire Nick Madrigal on a line out to center to end the inning.

Here’s the kicker, by the way: Chicago’s lead was short-lived. Catcher Yasmani Grandal launched a three-run home run in the bottom half of the fifth to put the Pirates up 9-8. The Pirates won by a 10-9 final.

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