Cubs Stat of the Day: July 2021

August 6th, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Cubs this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

July 31: Cubs 6, Nationals 3 -- Hendricks wins 11th straight
Kyle Hendricks earned the win over the Nationals, tossing seven innings and allowing just one run. He joins an exclusive list as one of four Cubs starters in the past 90 years to win 11 straight decisions -- Jake Arrieta (20-0 from 2015-16), Rick Sutcliffe (16-0 from 1984-85) and Milt Pappas (11-0 in 1972).

July 30: Nationals 4, Cubs 3 -- Rucker the 1,000th Cubs pitcher
In Friday's matchup at Nationals Park, righty reliever Michael Rucker made his MLB debut. In doing so, he became the 1,000th pitcher in Cubs National League history (1876 to present), according to Cubs historian Ed Hartig.

July 29: Reds 7, Cubs 4 -- Contreras' mammoth blast
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras launched a 2-2 offering from Luis Castillo deep to center field in the fifth inning. The baseball bounced beyond the batter's eye and into the upper bleachers, and was projected at 464 feet, per Statcast. That marked the longest home run of the season by a Cubs hitter and the longest regular-season shot of Contreras' career. His previous best was a 463-foot home run on April 3, 2019.

July 28: Reds 8, Cubs 2 -- How many spots for KB? Not 1, not 2 ...
In the eighth inning against the Reds, Nico Hoerner exited due to injury, while shortstop Javier Báez was sidelined with a sore left heel. As a result, Kris Bryant moved to shortstop, marking the sixth position he has manned this season for the Cubs. Bryant has now appeared at third base (29 games), left field (29), right field (28), center field (14), first base (12) and short (one). It was Bryant's first time playing short since a one-inning cameo at the position on May 31, 2016.

July 27: Reds 7, Cubs 4 -- Rizzo's first-inning trifecta
Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer marked the third game in a row that the Cubs' first baseman cleared the fence in the first inning. Rizzo joined Nick Castellanos (Aug. 18-21, 2019) as the only Cubs players on record to homer in three consecutive games, with each blast happening in the first inning. Rizzo is the only hitter in the Majors to achieve that feat this season.

July 26: Cubs 6, Reds 5 -- Bryzzo's 400th blast
Following an infield single by Kris Bryant in the first inning against the Reds, Anthony Rizzo belted a no-doubt two-run homer to the right-field bleacher seats. That gave Bryant and Rizzo a combined 400 home runs as members of the Cubs. Rizzo has launched 241 homers for Chicago, while Bryant has 159. They each have six blasts in postseason play for the North Siders.

July 25: Cubs 5, D-backs 1 -- Williams' longest outing of '21
Trevor Williams worked a season-high 6 1/3 innings, marking the fifth time this season that a Cubs pitcher other than Kyle Hendricks lasted at least 6 1/3 innings. Zach Davies (two) and Adbert Alzolay (two) also achieved that feat. Hendricks has logged at least 6 1/3 frames in seven of his outings this season.

July 24: D-backs 7, Cubs 3 -- Battery fully charged
In the fourth inning, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras plucked a dribbler off the bat of Eduardo Escobar from the ground and uncorked a throw that wound up hitting Escobar in the back. That throw was clocked at 91.6 mph by Statcast, marking Contreras' hardest throw of the season and the 10th-hardest throw by a Cubs position player in 2021. It was also faster than any pitch thrown on the day by Chicago starter Alec Mills, whose max velo was 89.7 mph.

July 23: Cubs 8, D-backs 3 -- Báez makes it count
When Javier Báez crushed a three-run homer in the first inning against Arizona, it ended a unique streak. Prior to that blast, the Cubs' previous 75 home runs were either solo or two-run shots -- a club-record streak, per historian Ed Hartig. The previous homer with at least two aboard for Chicago came on May 15, when Matt Duffy belted a three-run home run in Detroit.

July 22: Cardinals 3, Cubs 2 -- Marisnick ends slump
When Jake Marisnick connected for a two-strike, two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning, it snapped an 0-for-16 funk for the center fielder. That his extra-base hit came off southpaw Kwang Hyun Kim continued a season-long trend. While Marisnick headed into the game with a .217/.292/.435 slash line overall, the right-handed-hitting outfielder had an .869 OPS and 129 wRC+ (29 percent above MLB average) against lefties this year. For comparison, Marisnick had a .608 OPS and 65 wRC+ against righties.

July 21: Cardinals 3, Cubs 2 -- Hendricks' unbeaten streak
A rally in the ninth by the Cubs' offense helped Kyle Hendricks avoid a loss, extending his career-best unbeaten streak to 13 starts (10-0, 2.50 ERA). It is the longest streak without a loss by a Cubs starter since Jon Lester went 14 outings without an "L" from July 9-Sept. 25, 2016.

July 20: Cubs 7, Cardinals 6 -- A rally 42 years in the making
The Cubs pieced together a six-run rally in the ninth inning to pull off a stunning comeback win over the rival Cardinals. It marked the first time since April 29, 1979, that Chicago erased a five-run deficit to win in the ninth. In that game more than four decades ago, the Cubs struck for six in the ninth to beat the Braves, 6-5. The North Siders had been 1-43 this year when trailing in the ninth inning.

July 19: Cardinals 8, Cubs 3 -- Error trifecta is costly
The Cubs made a trio of errors in the fourth inning against the Cardinals, opening the door for a four-run outburst that swung the game's momentum. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom (one throwing error) and shortstop Javier Báez (one throwing, one fielding) were charged with the miscues. It marked the first time Chicago had three errors in one inning since May 19, 2017, when a three-error sixth contributed to a 6-3 loss to Milwaukee.

July 18: D-backs 6, Cubs 4 -- Báez continues to produce
Javier Báez went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles, boosting his season RBI total to 59. He also has 21 home runs and 12 stolen bases, making him one of only three MLB players to reach those numbers in the three stats so far this season, along with the Angels' Shohei Ohtani (34 homers, 74 RBIs and 12 steals) and the Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. (28 homers, 64 RBIs and 22 steals).

July 17: Cubs 4, D-backs 2 -- Kimbrel moves up all-time saves list
Craig Kimbrel tossed a scoreless ninth to record his 369th career save. That moved him ahead of Jonathan Papelbon for ninth on the all-time saves list. It was Kimbrel's 36th save since joining the Cubs ahead of the 2019 season and his 21st this year. The right-hander will now look to pass Joe Nathan, who is eighth with 377.

July 16: Cubs 5, D-backs 1 -- Rizzo climbs Cubs' HR ranks
Anthony Rizzo hit a solo home run in the fourth inning against D-backs left-hander Madison Bumgarner, marking the 239th homer of Rizzo's Cubs career. That tied him with Aramis Ramirez for the sixth most in a Cubs uniform. It was also the first time that Rizzo went deep against Bumgarner, as he was previously 3-for-19 against the veteran southpaw.

July 10: Cardinals 6, Cubs 0 -- Contreras' milestone
In the third inning, Willson Contreras sent a sharp grounder up the third-base line, where St. Louis' Nolan Arenado could not corral the ball. That resulted in an infield single that marked the 500th career hit for the Cubs' catcher in his 573rd career game. For perspective, Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett, who ranks first in team history in hits (1,867) for players whose primary position was catcher, reached his 500th career hit in his 553rd game.

July 9: Cubs 10, Cardinals 5 -- Chafin remains sharp
With the bases loaded and two outs for the Cardinals in the top of the eighth, the Cubs called on Andrew Chafin, who proceeded to strike out Matt Carpenter to end the threat. That extended Chafin's streak of scoreless innings to 23 in a row, the longest active streak in the Majors and the longest by a reliever this season.

July 8: Phillies 8, Cubs 0 -- Searching for runs
After pouring out 18 runs on 24 hits in the previous two games, the Cubs were blanked by the Phillies. It marked the seventh time this season that the feast-or-famine Chicago lineup was shut out. That marks the most offensive shutouts for the Cubs before an All-Star break since 2018 (also seven).

July 7: Cubs 8, Phillies 3 -- J-Hey's impressive catch
Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward reminded everyone why he has five Gold Glove Awards in his trophy case in the fifth inning. Didi Gregorius sent a sinking liner to right fielder, where Heyward closed in fast. The right fielder covered 60 feet in 3.8 seconds before shifting into a dive to snare the ball before it hit the grass. Per Statcast, Heyward's highlight-reel grab came with a catch probability of just 30 percent.

July 6: Phillies 15, Cubs 10 -- Báez's first-half power
For the second game in a row, Javier Báez put on a power display that was buried within a lopsided loss for the Cubs. In the sixth inning, Báez crushed his 20th home run of the season. He went deep again with a two-run shot in the seventh, marking his 10th career multihomer game. That gave the shortstop the third-most homers by a Cubs middle infielder (21) before the All-Star break. Báez also ranks next on that list with 22 before the break in 2019. Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg tops that chart with 24 in the first half in 1990.

July 5: Phillies 13, Cubs 3 -- Báez hits a laser
Everyone knows Javier Báez has power, but he brought it to another level against the Phillies. With Kris Bryant on first in the bottom of the third, Báez worked a 3-1 count before swinging at a four-seamer over the heart of the plate. The sound of the crack of the bat already let everyone in the ballpark know how hard he hit the ball, and the 116.7 mph exit velocity confirmed it. That double was Báez's hardest-hit ball since Statcast began tracking in 2015, surpassing a 116.0 mph groundout on Aug. 12, 2020. It's also the hardest-hit ball by any Cubs player since Kyle Schwarber's 117.6 mph single on June 22, 2019.

July 4: Reds 3, Cubs 2 -- Power play
The Cubs are the lone National League team with six players with at least 10 homers this season. Javier Báez has hit 18 homers, followed by Kris Bryant (16), Willson Contreras (13), Joc Pederson (11), Patrick Wisdom (11) and Anthony Rizzo (10). Despite this penchant, Chicago was kept in the yard in the series finale.

July 3: Reds 3, Cubs 2 -- Kimbrel mows down competition
Closer Craig Kimbrel struck out Nick Castellanos, the only batter he faced in the eighth. Kimbrel has limited the opposition to an .098 average this season. In his last 39 games -- dating back to Sept. 3, 2020 -- he has posted a 0.48 ERA, going 21-for-23 in save opportunities. Kimbrel has not allowed a hit since May 26.

July 2: Reds 2, Cubs 1 -- Javy in rare air
Javier Báez is one of just four Major League players to reach 18 homers, 49 RBIs and nine steals thus far this season, joining San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr., the Angels' Shohei Ohtani and Toronto’s Marcus Semien.