Chicago Cubs rookie David Bote pulled off one of the coolest moments in baseball on Sunday night, erasing a 3-0 deficit with two outs in the ninth inning with a grand slam, stunning the Washington Nationals with a walk-off winner on ESPN ‘Sunday Night Baseball.’
Ship it. ⛵️#EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/uZFLJ2WtOK— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 13, 2018
For most of Sunday night, this was a relatively uneventful game, other than rumors of a tiff between Cubs manager Joe Maddon and ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez about the latter’s comments last month about a chemistry problem in Chicago’s clubhouse.
Max Scherzer was dominant yet again for the Nationals, striking out 11 in his seven scoreless innings. Washington took a 3-0 lead into the ninth, and Ryan Madson got an out before allowing a single to Jason Heyward then hitting Albert Almora Jr. with a pitch. Madson got the second out of the inning but hit another batter to load the bases for the pinch hitter Bote.
The down-3, walk-off grand slam is pretty rare. Bote’s was just the 27th in the last 94 seasons (the wonderful Play Index on Baseball-Reference has full searchable data for this dating back to 1925). He was just the seventh pinch-hitter to pull off this trick, and the first since 2011.
Bote was the first to hit a walk-off grand slam down 3-0 since Samuel Byrd of the Reds on May 25, 1936.
The side angle of Bote’s swing and bat flip is glorious.
Some people think baseball is boring. pic.twitter.com/InmaykQ5ZO— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2018
After celebrating with his teammates, Bote joined John Buccigross on ESPN ‘SportsCenter’ and was asked what his next plans were.
“I’m going to go home and sleep,” Bote said.
Though his role Sunday night was brief, Bote earned that rest.