Stat of the Day: Báez's bloop ends streak

5:48 AM UTC is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Cubs this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

April 22: Cubs 4, Mets 3 (10) -- Báez breaks slump
Javier Báez sent a fastball from Mets righty Trevor May into shallow right-center for a bloop hit in the seventh inning of the Cubs' win, marking the shortstop's first hit off a four-seamer since Sept. 26 of last season. Prior to that hit, Báez had been 2-for-26 with 17 strikeouts against fastballs (all types) and 0-for-17 against four-seamers, in particular, this season, per Statcast. That includes the two strikeouts in his first two at-bats against the Mets (one sinker and one four-seamer). More relevant to this win? Báez scored the decisive run in the 10th on Jason Heyward's walk-off single.

April 21: Cubs 16, Mets 4 -- Singles night for the Cubs
The Cubs entered this rout over the Mets with a Major League-low 53 singles. By contrast, the Red Sox paced MLB with 108 singles going into the day. Chicago then churned out 10 singles as part of a 13-hit outburst. That included six singles in a seven-run fourth inning. In the Cubs' previous 16 games this season, they topped six singles just once (seven on April 8 against the Pirates). That seven-run frame was also the most runs in an inning for the Cubs since plating seven in the seventh on Sept. 27, 2019 (at St. Louis).

April 20: Cubs 3, Mets 1 -- Kimbrel's no-hit streak snapped
Closer Craig Kimbrel escaped a bases-loaded jam to pick up a save and seal a win against the Mets, but the veteran also ended an impressive string of no-hit appearances. Luis Guillorme's pinch-hit single ended Kimbrel's streak of outings with no hits allowed at nine, dating back to Sept. 16 of last year. It marked the 16th time since 1910 that a Cubs pitcher had at least nine straight relief appearances with no hits surrendered. Kimbrel's 9 1/3 innings in his streak were tied for the fifth-most on that list. The record for consecutive relief outings with zero hits allowed by a Cubs pitcher is 13, which was set by Travis Wood (12 1/3 innings) from Sept. 11, 2015-April 14, 2016. In Kimbrel's no-hit run, he struck out 15 and walked three.

April 18: Braves 13, Cubs 4 -- Multihomer history for Rizzo
One night after Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant each enjoyed a two-homer showing, Anthony Rizzo belted two home runs in a loss to the Braves. That performance moved Rizzo into a tie with Aramis Ramirez for the sixth-most multihomer games in Cubs history with 19. Sammy Sosa holds the record for the North Siders with 65 such games, followed by Ernie Banks (42), Billy Williams (29), Ron Santo and Ryne Sandberg (25 each) and Hack Wilson (24).

April 17: Cubs 13, Braves 4 -- Contreras, Bryant double down
Both Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant enjoyed a two-homer showing in the Cubs' rout of the Braves. It was the ninth career multihomer game for Contreras and the 14th for Bryant. It also marked the 28th time since 1901 that the Cubs had at least two players with a multihomer performance in the same game. Chicago has had three players go deep two or more times just twice. The most recent occurrence was on Aug. 30, 2020, when Ian Happ, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber each had two homers in Cincinnati.

April 16: Braves 5, Cubs 2 -- Contreras gets hit, hits back
Catcher Willson Contreras -- last year's MLB leader in being hit by a pitch with 14 -- was hit for the fifth time this season in Friday's game against Atlanta. After the first-inning plunking, Contreras later launched a towering home run. That gave him a HBP and a homer in consecutive games played. A Cubs player has had at least one HBP and a homer in back-to-back games only five times on record. Contreras has now done so twice (also on July 3-4, 2016), along with Anthony Rizzo (July 26-27, 2020), Aramis Ramírez (April 20-21, 2008) and Andy Pafko (July 27-28, 1950).

April 14: Brewers 7, Cubs 0 -- Cubs' bats slow to start
With just four hits in 32 at-bats on Wednesday, Chicago's team batting average fell to .163 through 12 games. That average is the worst in team history at this point in the season since at least 1901, with the previous low being .177 in 1997. It's also the second lowest in league history through 12 games since 1901. The only lower average came from the 2003 Tigers (.159), who finished the season 43-119.

April 13: Cubs 3, Brewers 2 -- Kimbrel the long man
For his 351st career save, closer Craig Kimbrel worked the final four outs against the Brewers in Tuesday's 3-2 Cubs victory. This came after he logged his first career five-out save (in the regular season) for No. 350 last Thursday in Pittsburgh. It marked only the second time Kimbrel has had back-to-back saves of at least four outs (achieved on June 3-6, 2017). The last Cubs pitcher to have consecutive saves consisting of at least four outs was Héctor Rondón from June 18-24, 2010.

April 12: Brewers 6, Cubs 3 -- Bryant looking healthy again
Kris Bryant launched a homer in the fourth inning, the third baseman's third of the season. It also represented his seventh extra-base hit through the Cubs' first 10 games this season. Through 10 games last year, Bryant hit .184/.295/.342 with just four extra-base hits. In fact, he did not collect his seventh extra-base hit until his 21st game of his injury-marred 2020 campaign.

April 11: Pirates 7, Cubs 1 -- 'Pen loves punchouts
Following Trevor Williams' abbreviated outing, the Cubs' bullpen racked up another seven strikeouts among the 19 Pirates batters they faced. The relief corps' propensity for punchouts has been a positive in the season's early going for Chicago. With the latest showing, the Cubs' bullpen held steady atop the Majors with a 36.2 percent strikeout rate.

April 10: Pirates 8, Cubs 2 -- Davies' streak ends
Zach Davies entered the day having allowed three or fewer earned runs in a career-best 19 consecutive starts. That was also the longest active streak of its kind among Major League starters. That impressive run came to a close against the Pirates, who struck for seven runs off Davies in 1 2/3 innings. That tied the most runs he allowed in a start in his career and set a career-low for innings for the right-hander.

April 8: Cubs 4, Pirates 2 -- Báez scrapes one off the dirt
Javier Báez hit a go-ahead two-run home run on a changeup from Pirates starter Tyler Anderson that was just 0.86 feet above the ground. That made it by far the lowest pitch against which Báez has ever homered. It was also tied for the fifth-lowest pitch anyone has homered against in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008), tied with a Rowdy Tellez home run from June 19, 2019. The lowest was an Aug. 8, 2017, homer by Odúbel Herrera, which came against a pitch that was just 0.73 feet off the ground.

April 7: Brewers 4, Cubs 2 (10 innings) -- Happ ends no-hit skid at 11 innings
Ian Happ's leadoff single in the seventh not only broke up Brandon Woodruff's no-hit bid, but it snapped a run of 11 straight innings without a hit for the Cubs' offense. Per team historian Ed Hartig, that marked the first time since Sept. 9-10, 1965, that Chicago was no-hit in 11 consecutive frames. That Sept. 9 game was a perfect game by Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.

April 6: Brewers 4, Cubs 0 -- Cubs robbed of stolen-base streak
Willson Contreras tried to steal second in the third inning, but the Cubs opted against challenging a close caught-stealing call. That ended Chicago's streak of four games with at least one stolen base to begin the season. That was the longest such streak out of the gates for the North Siders since the 2001 campaign. The Cubs have not stolen at least one base in five straight games to begin a season since 1907, when the team did so through the first eight contests.

April 5: Cubs 5, Brewers 3 -- Williams' near-historic Cubs debut
Trevor Williams carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, when his bid at history was halted by an Omar Narváez single. Prior to Williams, the last three pitchers to log at least five no-hit innings in their Cubs debut were Amaury Telemaco (5 2/3 innings on May 16, 1996), Willie Banks (5 1/3 innings on April 6, 1994) and Jose Guzman (8 2/3 innings on April 6, 1993). Don Cardwell threw a no-hitter in his Cubs debut on May 15, 1960.

April 4: Cubs 4, Pirates 3 -- First hit for Happ? Probably a homer
Cubs outfielder Ian Happ might be most remembered among casual fans for his Opening Day home run in 2018, when he launched the first pitch of the MLB season for the year's first blast. As it happens, Happ has a knack for hitting homers as his first hit of a given year. Happ's homer against the Pirates marked the fourth time in his five Major League seasons that his first hit cleared the fence. He also did so on Opening Day in '20 (and '18), and in his MLB debut on May 13, 2017.

April 3: Cubs 5, Pirates 1 -- Jason Heyward ties his own Statcast best with blast
Jason Heyward's first homer of 2021 was a solo shot off Pittsburgh's Clay Holmes in the sixth inning. The blast had an exit velocity of 110.7 mph, per Statcast. That tied the hardest-hit home run of the Statcast Era (dating back to 2015) for Heyward, who also had a 110.7 mph home run on April 19, 2018, against the Cardinals.

April 1: Pirates 5, Cubs 3 -- No. 44 becomes 44th member of Cubs' 10-year club
Anthony Rizzo, who wears No. 44, became the 44th player in franchise history to play in at least 10 seasons with the Cubs, according to team historian Ed Hartig. Rizzo is the 33rd player to suit up for the North Siders in at least 10 consecutive seasons. The previous three players to reach 10 seasons in a row with the Cubs were Carlos Zambrano (11 years), Sammy Sosa (13 years) and Mark Grace (13 years).