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The Most Ridiculous Games in Sports History Part II: Cubs 26, Phillies 23

A baseball game where the Cubs became the Bears and the Phillies almost made a 19-run comeback.

Chicago Cubs Team Player in Batting Position

Good afternoon, BBN!

In May, we looked at the craziness of the 2018 Texas A&M-LSU football shootout that the Aggies won 74-72. This time we’re looking at another high-scoring barnburner—only this time it’s MLB.

That football game had a score so high you’d think it was a basketball game. Well this baseball game had a score so high you’d think it was a football game.

Which game am I alluding to? None other than the Phillies at the Cubs, August 25th, 1922, a game that took place almost 99 years ago and saw the Cubs win 26-23.

Never before or since have more runs been scored in an MLB game. Here’s the full statistical breakdown of the bizarre ballgame:

  • 49 runners crossed home plate
  • The teams combined for 51 hits
  • 125 batters came to the plate
  • The game was still only 3 hours

1st Inning: Pretty normal start. Phillies go three-and-out, Cubs score one to make it 1-0.

2nd Inning: Phillies take advantage of some errors and score three to make it 3-1, but with two outs the Phillies’ third baseman drops a pop fly and the Cubs score ten runs with two outs to make it 11-3—all because of a dropped fly ball.

3rd Inning: Philadelphia recovers a bit, scoring twice and keeping the Cubs at 11 to make it 11-5.

4th Inning: Phillies score again to inch closer, narrowing the margin to 11-6. Then everything goes bananas. Philadelphia completely falls apart as Chicago sends 19 batters to the plate, and their right fielder three times in the same inning. After scoring 14 runs, the Phillies finally get the third out and try not to look at the scoreboard: 25-6 after only four innings. Ouch.

5th Inning: The Phillies score three runs. At this point I don’t think the Chicago pitchers are trying very hard. It almost costs them, believe it or not.

6th Inning: The Cubs score one more run to make it 26-9.

7th Inning: Neither team scores, the only scoreless inning of the game. If you wanted a hot dog or bathroom break, that was the time to do it.

8th Inning: The Phillies refuse to quit and drive in 8 runs to make it 26-17. Suddenly it was within ‘single digits’.

9th Inning: The Cubs almost blow it, as Philly scores 6 runs to cut it to 26-23 before finally succumbing. It would have been the comeback of the century, but giving up 14 runs in one inning was the fatal flaw in their game plan.

Utter chaos. Since 1901 there’s only ever been one other baseball game where both teams scored 20+ runs, and coincidence of coincidences, it was the Phillies and Cubs in Chicago in 1979. This time, however, it was the Phillies who prevailed, scoring 23 runs almost six decades after their last barnburner, but this time they held the Cubs to 22 runs with some “defense” to win 23-22.

Will there ever be another 20-20 game? Will the Cubs and Phillies be involved in it? Baseball is the sport with no clock, so there’s no telling what might happen on any given day. If I were you I might consider stopping by Wrigley Field next time the Phillies visit. Something crazy might happen—you never know...