David Bote’s walk-off Grand Slam stuns the Nationals, gives the Cubs a 4-3 win
CHICAGO – For a second time in a minute, he let it rip at the plate.
Racing home in jubilation with a crowd going mad around him, David Bote arrived to a sea of teammates surrounding home plate, in delirium over what he just pulled off. Instead of fighting it, the Cubs’ third baseman let his teammates rip off his No. 13 jersey while he roared in joy.
That’s the rip that Bote earned from his other one at the plate – a two out, two strike blast with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. The hit easily cleared the center field wall and hit high on the backdrop for the Grand Slam to stun the Nationals, who watched a 3-0 lead disappear on one swing as the Cubs stole a 4-3 win away on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.
It gives the Cubs the series win, improves their record to 68-49, increases their lead in the NL Central to three games, and gives Bote the best moment of his still young and promising career.
The long blast off Ryan Madson was his third as a Cub and came on a pinch hit appearance in the ninth. He’d gotten the day off his usual duty, to fill in for the injured Kris Bryant as he continues to heal an injured shoulder. Bote saw four pitches before launching the fifth from Madson well over the center field wall for his first walk-off homer of his career, and enjoyed quite a celebration afterwards.
The blast overshadowed a strong pitcher’s duel between the starters. Cole Hamels shined in his first Cubs’ start at Wrigley Field, allowing just one run and one hit over seven innings, striking out nine while walking just one. Washington got their only score on a sacrafice fly in the second inning, and after that retired the next 17 batters in a row.
Unfortunately Max Scherzer matched him and didn’t allow a run, striking out 11 Cubs while scattering just three hits over seven innings. Koda Glover held down the Cubs in the eighth and it appeared Washington would leave Chicago with a win after adding two more runs on a Ryan Zimmerman single in the ninth off Brandon Kintzler.
But the Cubs’ offense chipped away at Ryan Madson in the ninth, with Jason Heyward reaching base with one out and then Albert Almora Jr. got hit by a pitch. Kyle Schwarber popped up for the second out, but when Madson hit Willson Contreras, Bote got his shot to play hero.
He didn’t miss, ripping one into the night at Wrigley Field and earning himself a rip-roaring celebration when he returned to home plate.