Miguel Montero delivered the first pinch-hit, go-ahead Grand Slam in postseason history in Cubs 8-4 victory over Dodgers in Game 1 of NLCS
Facing a must-win in the opener of the National League Championship Series, the Cubs saw the Dodgers tie Game 1 at three with two runs in the eighth. With Wrigley Field as quiet as it had been in over a year, the Cubs put together a five-run rally in the bottom of the eighth with all the runs scoring on two swings. And the Cubs took Game 1 of the NLCS in dramatic fashion.
Jon Lester limited the Dodgers to an Andre Ethier solo home run in the fifth in six innings of work. Lester turned the game over to the bullpen with the Cubs leading 3-1.
Kris Bryant doubled in Dexter Fowler in the first inning. And the Cubs added two runs in the second. Jason Heyward tripled and scored on a Javier Baez double. And Baez stole home with Lester at the plate.
Aroldis Chapman was not able to clean up the mess that was left by Mike Montgomery and Pedro Strop. The Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. Chapman struck out Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig swinging. But Adrian Gonzalez singled to center and plated Andrew Toles and Chase Utley to tie the game. With the go ahead run at third in Justin Turner and after Gonzalez swiped second, Chapman retired Yasmani Grandal on a grounder to Addison Russell to end the inning.
Dave Roberts went to Joe Blanton for the eighth inning with the game tied at three.
Ben Zobrist led off the eighth with a double. Russell rolled out to third. Roberts had Blanton intentionally walk Jason Heyward. After Javier Baez flied out, Maddon sent Chris Coghlan up to hit for David Ross. Roberts wanted to force Maddon to make a decision with Chapman. And he did.
With the bases loaded and two down, Joe Maddon went back to his bench and sent up Miguel Montero to hit for Chapman.
Miguel Montero launched a 0-2 pitch from Blanton into the right field bleachers. Wrigley erupted and the Cubs had a 7-3 lead.
While Wrigley and his teammates were still buzzing about Montero’s slam, Dexter Fowler took Blanton out to right. The back-to-back jacks off Blanton gave the Cubs a five-run lead after eight innings.
Kris Bryant followed the home runs with a double but Anthony Rizzo popped out to end the inning.
Hector Rondon pitched the ninth with a five-run lead. The Dodgers made it an 8-4 game on a double by Andrew Toles that allowed Joc Pederson to score. Chase Utley lined into a double play to end Game 1.
Game 1 of the NLCS was a game the Cubs had to win with Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill scheduled for the next two games. The Cubs first victory in the National League Championship Series snapped a skid that dated back 13 years.
Miguel Montero had two hits in the postseason and neither one will ever be forgotten.