While we await the Dodgers or Nationals to come to Wrigley Field Saturday to face the Cubs in the National League Championship Series, I thought it would be fun to look back on the division series win over the Giants and some of the things that happened during the series, some of which come under the category of “never before.”
This was the 1-0 win by the Cubs in a postseason game since Game 4 of the 1906 World Series
Jon Lester became the 10th Cubs pitcher to throw at least eight shutout innings in a postseason game. Here are all 10 -- the others were all complete-game shutouts.
Javier Baez’s homer was the 12th all-time to win a 1-0 postseason game, the first since the Red Sox’ Mike Napoli in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS. (Bonus fun fact: the winning pitcher in that game was John Lackey.)
Travis Wood became the third Cubs pitcher to homer in a postseason game (Rick Sutcliffe in 1984, Kerry Wood in 2003 the others).
Kyle Hendricks became the first pitcher to have two (or more) RBI in a postseason game since the Phillies’ Brett Myers had three in Game 2 of the 2008 NLCS, and the first Cubs pitcher to do that since Wood in 2003. Wood did it twice that year, in Game 1 of the division series against the Braves, and in Game 7 of the NLCS.
Jake Arrieta became the fourth Cubs pitcher to homer in a postseason game. It is the first time since 1968 that two home runs came from pitchers in the same postseason series (Mickey Lolich of the Tigers, Game 2, and Bob Gibson of the Cardinals, Game 4 of the World Series) and first time since 1924 that two pitchers from a single team have homered in the same postseason series (the Giants’ Rosy Ryan, Game 3, and Jack Bentley, Game 5 of the World Series).
There have now been 23 home runs hit by pitchers in postseason series. Now with four, the Cubs are tied with the Cardinals for most all-time, so they have a chance to break that mark this year.
It was the longest Cubs postseason game ever by innings (13) and time (5:04) and the 13th-longest postseason game ever (by time).
David Ross became both the oldest catcher and oldest Cub to homer in a postseason game.
The four-run ninth-inning comeback is the biggest ever to win any postseason game.
It was the first time any team had overcome a ninth-inning deficit of three runs since the Mets did it in Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS (the Mets tied the game in the ninth and eventually won in the 16th inning).
I’m sure I left something out here, but those are the top highlights for me from this series, a postseason series for the ages, one that’ll be talked about not just by Cubs fans, but by every baseball fan as one of the best postseason series ever played.
And the best is yet to come.