clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

There he goes again: Cubs’ David Bote drills walk-off homer in 3-2 Cubs victory

David Bote, a hero at home plate in Friday's 3-2 Cubs victory. (AP/Nam Y. Huh)

David Bote’s locker in the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field is right next to that of a guy by the name of Javy Baez.

The bigger superstar? You decide.

Bote on Friday also became the first Cubs player to hit two walk-off home runs in a season since Kris Bryant did it in his Rookie of the Year campaign of 2015.

The bigger breakout phenom? Boy, it’s another toss-up.

But seriously, folks: Nearly two weeks after stunning the Nationals with a last-ditch grand slam, Bote — barely 100 at-bats into his big-league career — took Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias onto Waveland Avenue in the 10th inning for a 3-2 Cubs victory.

The 25-year-old flipped his bat and took off around the bases knowing full well that mayhem awaited him at home plate. Baez had a bucket with his name on it.

“I don’t know what was in that Gatorade bath, but it smelled horrible,” Bote said. “But it feels great. It was fun.”

Gee, you think? Bote is part clutch hitter, part right guy in the right place at the right time, and definitely part folk hero. Who could be having more fun than him?

“I don’t know if I have words for it,” he said. “It’s just a high-class organization from top to bottom. Playing meaningful baseball, in Wrigley. As the fall starts to set in, you know, you can feel that kind of coolness. It’s just picture perfect.”

Wearing “BOAT” on his back as both teams donned “Players Weekend” uniforms with nicknames, Bote continued a run of each of his five homers either tying the score or giving the Cubs a lead.

The Cubs have gone deep in a season-high nine consecutive games, with 13 long balls in all in those games. Their third straight victory pushed them a season-high-tying 21 games over .500, and — impressive trend alert — this will be their 13th straight non-losing series at home, a streak that dates back to May.

RELATED STORIES

Cubs’ Alec Mills delivers a gem in first MLB start; Kris Bryant coming along

Pitch perfect? Yu Darvish takes on critics, then Cole Hamels takes down Reds

The division-leading Cubs have won the first two of a four-game series against the Reds, the last-place team, who have fought the Cubs hard all season, splitting 14 games evenly. The Cardinals are surging, and the Brewers likewise remain in the hunt for the division title, but the Cubs might be beginning to put the pedal down.

Does it feel like a pennant race?

“I don’t know what that is,” Bote said, laughing.

How odd it would have sounded a couple of months back to hear that the first-place Cubs would win a late-August game started by Alec Mills and finished by Bote — with a solo shot by Daniel Murphy in between.

Mills was called up from Class AAA Iowa to make the first start of his career and pitched exceptionally well, nearly going six full innings — only Kyle Schwarber’s error in left field stopped that from happening — and allowing a single run.

Murphy, in only his third game since coming over from the Nationals, belted his first Cubs homer off Jared Hughes with two outs in the eighth. The 2-1 lead it gave the Cubs didn’t hold up, but no one will ever be able to take the lefty’s first Wrigley curtain call away from him.

“Professional hitter there, man,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He did not miss his pitch.”

Nor did the Reds’ Eugenio Suarez in the ninth. He took Pedro Strop, the Cubs’ temporary closer, into the left-field bleachers to tie the score. Of course, all that did was set the table for Bote.

“He’s been a hero for us lately,” Cubs teammate Ben Zobrist said. “Hopefully, he can continue doing that.”

And make his 2018 story even better? That really would be something.