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On this Day in 2016: Miguel Montero’s grand slam sparks NLCS Game 1 win

3 years agoAndy Martinez

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: NLCS Game 1 – Miguel Montero’s blast sparks an insane Game 1

It was the moment that Miguel Montero etched his name in Cubs’ lore.

Tied at 3 in the bottom of the 8th, Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a double off Dodger reliever Joe Blanton. After a groundout, Dave Roberts decided to intentionally walk Jason Heyward. Blanton induced a flyball to Javy Báez. That meant David Ross’ spot was up next, so Joe Maddon turned to Chris Coghlan to pinch hit, with Aroldis Chapman’s spot-on deck.

Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts decided to intentionally walk Coghlan and load the bases to get Chapman out of the game. That’s when Montero came up to bat.

Blanton got ahead, working an 0-2 count on Montero. But on the third pitch of the at-bat, Montero sent a slider into the right field bleachers and Wrigley Field into hysteria.

Fun Facts

  • Montero’s blast was the third pinch hit grand slam in postseason history.
  • Montero was hitting .221 with 8 home runs against righties; he was hitting just .189 with no homers against southpaws
  • In his career, Blanton had thrown 273 0-2 sliders without ever giving up a home run
  • Opponents were hitting .083 against Blanton’s slider in 0-2 counts, with 2 hits (both singles) and 18 strikeouts in 24 at-bats
  • Dexter Fowler homered on the next pitch to make it 8-3. The Dodgers would add a run in the top of the 9th.
  • Báez stole home in the game, the first time a Cub had done so since Jimmy Slagle in the 1907 World Series

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