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On This Day in 2016: Cubs complete wild 9th inning rally to take NLDS over Giants

2 weeks agoKyle Millinowisch

Five years ago, the Cubs embarked on a historic journey that will go down as one of the most impactful seasons in professional sports.

Throughout 2021, we’re taking a look back at some of the best moments from the incredible 2016 campaign.

Next up: NLDS Game 1 – Cubs advance to NLCS!

Oh, what a ninth.

A loss in Game 4 would have put all the pressure on the Cubs in a do-or-die Game 5 at home. Being down 3 to start the 9th inning was not ideal.

The Cubs couldn’t figure out Giants starter Matt Moore, who went 8 innings striking out 10 while allowing only 1 earned run. They could however figure out the Giants bullpen, who used 5 pitchers to get out of the 9th inning.

It started with Derek Law, who gave up a single to Kris Bryant. Then Javier Lopez, who walked Anthony Rizzo. Sergio Romo followed and gave up an RBI double to Ben Zobrist, putting runners on second and third with no outs.

Left-hander Will Smith came in to face Chris Coghlan, who was pinch hitting for Addison Russell. Joe Maddon countered with hitting Willson Contreras for Coghlan, and it paid off. Contreras smacked a 2-run single to tie the game at 5.

After a failed sac bunt that wound up with Jason Heyward at second, Bruce Bochy made his final pitching change, bringing in Hunter Strickland to face Javy Báez.

With an 0-2 count, Báez lined a 100-mph heater from Strickland up the middle to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the 9th to send the Cubs to their second consecutive NLCS.

Fun Facts

  • Entering the final frame, the Cubs had just a 2.5% chance of winning, per FanGraphs
  • Javy Báez had two game-winning hits in this series, both coming with 2 strikes
  • Aroldis Chapman recorded the save in all Cubs wins in the NLDS

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