WASHINGTON D.C. – To say that he’s come through in a “pinch” would be a bit of a cliché yet a very accurate statement.
After all, David Bote’s delivered two of the more memorable moments of the Cubs’ 2018 season coming off the bench. There was the ninth-inning Grand Slam to beat the Nationals on August 12th and then a walk-off homer in his second at-bat to knock off the Reds at Wrigley Field on August 24th.
So when Bote came to the plate against the same Washington team whom he erased a three-run lead with one swing a few weeks back as a pinch hitter, fans might have figured another memorable moment was in store.
Indeed it was.
With the game tied at four in the tenth, Bote hit for the first time after taking over at second base and delivered the go-ahead and eventual game-winning double to right field to score Albert Almora Jr. Another insurance run in the 10th made it a 6-4 final in the Cubs’ favor, who improve to 83-57 on the season and in the process increased their lead in the NL Central to 4 1/2 games over the Brewers, who were off Thursday night.
The hit gives Bote 27 RBI on his rookie season and adds to an already impressive resume of great moments. It also came after Bote went 0-for-5 during two games played against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
Jesse Chavez made it stand up in the bottom half of the tenth when he picked up the save after allowing runners on first and third with one out.
Bote’s hit concluded a back-and-forth game in which the Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third off Stephen Strasburg on an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo and a run-scoring single by Ben Zobrist. Washington got it all back and more in the fourth when Anthony Rendon’s double and Mark Reynolds’ two-run homer off Kyle Hendricks gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs immediately tied it on a Zobrist sacrifice fly in the fifth but Trea Turner’s RBI single in the bottom half of the game but Washington ahead again in the bottom half. It took till the 8th inning before the Cubs responded with a run of their own, doing so on a fielder’s choice by Willson Contreras.
In the tenth came the heroics, with Almora starting it off with a one-out double to right field off Jimmy Cordero. Bote then came up with the big hit, knocking the ball into right field between Victor Robles and Bryce Harper, which brought home Almora to give the Cubs the lead. Pinch hitter Taylor Davis brought Bote home for an insurance run to make it 6-4, completing yet another memorable night for the Cubs’ clutch rookie.