Cubs make history in 21-0 rout of Pirates

The Cubs snapped a four-game losing streak, and the victory was their most lopsided shutout win since at least 1901.

SHARE Cubs make history in 21-0 rout of Pirates

Ian Happ and the Cubs crushed the Pirates.

AP Photos

The Cubs needed a good day. They got something historic instead.

Their 21-0 victory Saturday against the Pirates in front of 39,917 at Wrigley Field was their most lopsided shutout win since at least 1901. Those 21 runs (nine more than they put up during the four-game skid they snapped) were the most since scoring 26 Aug. 18, 1995, at Colorado, and the Cubs went 23-for-48 against four Pirates pitchers.

That all added up to their biggest margin since beating the Boston Braves 24-2 on July 3, 1945. 

“It’s definitely enjoyable,” manager David Ross said. “It’s just good for the psyche, right? Just good to pile on hits, get your numbers in a game like that, build up a little bit. It’s always nice. Really good day for a lot of guys. I’m not going to list it off because it felt like everybody had a really good day.”

Ross was right about that. All nine starters had at least one hit and scored at least one run, handing the Pirates the biggest shutout defeat in franchise history.

Recalled Friday after being optioned a week earlier, first baseman Alfonso Rivas hit a three-run home run during the Cubs’ eight-run second inning and had five RBI. Second baseman Nico Hoerner had a career-best four hits, including two in the second inning. Right fielder Seiya Suzuki bounced back from a recent 10 at-bat drought with three hits, three runs and an RBI, plus his first stolen base.

That wasn’t the only thing Hoerner noticed.

“I thought something that was cool about today was, obviously, a game that got out of hand, but pretty much a packed stadium for the last out,” Hoerner said. “I think there was still a lot of people appreciative of the first day of spring/summer in a lot of ways. Wrigley is awesome always, but today is like a true Wrigley experience.”

Part of the Wrigley experience is seeing the wind blowing out when the weather is warm. At the first pitch, the wind was coming out of the south-southwest at 19 mph, but Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks limited the Pirates to two hits in seven innings and got eight groundouts. 

Indeed, the Dartmouth alum lived up to his nickname, not allowing a home run on a hitter-friendly day. It was also a far cry from a year ago, when he allowed a career-high 31 homers.

“That was as ‘Professor’ as it gets; they call him the ‘Professor’ for a reason,” Rivas said. “It was awesome playing defense behind him, getting quick outs, seeing him work the corners, changing speeds. That’s what he does, and it was awesome to watch it in person.”

During the Cubs’ four-game skid, it wasn’t too much fun for their fans to watch in person.

The play wasn’t great, and the weather was generally difficult, highlighted by Friday’s game being moved from 1:20 to 7:05 just to get it in.

Saturday was a little different in a lot of ways.

“It’s been a weird start, really, the whole time at home,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘It’s been tough. Today really felt like just a classic Wrigley day. The crowd was amazing, and I think it really fed into our guys. You saw from the start how locked in everybody was. 

“It was just a great day to be out there. It definitely started with the crowd, [a] packed house and a lot of energy. That’s what we love.”

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