CHICAGO – It wasn’t a day where he wanted to be delayed for very long, so naturally, he made sure it went as fast as possible.
After the Diamondbacks tied the Cubs in the ninth inning, David Bote made sure the game ended as fast as possible. With a runner on third, he smacked a single to right to give the Cubs a 2-1 win, setting off a celebration on the field and the stands as the Cubs took 2-of-3 from Arizona over the weekend.
It had to be brief, however, since Bote would have to rush out of Wrigley Field to board a plane to Colorado. His wife is there as doctors induce labor for the couple’s third child, which is expected to happen Monday as the Cubs have a day off between the Arizona series and three contests against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
But coming through in clutch moments is a reputation that Bote has built during his short time at the major league level, one that’s making him a favorite for Cubs’ fans over the last year.
“It seems like that’s the spot he likes to be in,” said pitcher Tyler Chatwood of the second-year infielder. “It says a lot about a hitter.”
Bote has given the Cubs a lot to talk about in a very eventful year since he was called up to the majors after spending six seasons in the minors with the franchise. His debut was one year to the day of his game-winning hit Sunday against the Diamondbacks and represents the fourth walk-off moment with the team.
The first was a walk with the bases loaded in a win over the Reds at Wrigley Field on July 8 of last season. On August 12th, Bote delivered arguably the moment of the 2018 season, when his Grand Slam with two outs in the ninth inning against the Nationals on Sunday Night Baseball gave the Cubs a 4-3 win. Eleven days later, Bote hit another walk-off homer, this time against the Reds in the 10th inning.
“It’s nice,” said Anthony Rizzo of Bote’s ability to come through in the clutch for the Cubs. “You can’t teach that, and he’s had a lot of situations come up like that and he’s come through, and it’s fun to watch.”
Certainly, the Cubs’ front office thought so when they extended Bote for five more years after 2019 for $15 million during spring training. He’s responded by hitting .295 in 19 games with a homer and nine RBI in his first full season with club. It’s a great response from the player, who earned some fame during his first stint in the majors a year ago.
“From the homer last year, there was a lot of pressure. He slowed everything down and he just keeps getting better at it because he knows he has talent and he knows he can do it.”
Especially when he has to at the major league level.