As you might expect from an era when the Cubs were bad — five straight losing seasons, including two of 95+ losses — there weren’t many walkoff homers, just seven, in this five-year span.
Three of them were by a player now one of the most beloved of the team’s 2016 World Series heroes.
April 20, 2011, first game: On what I remember as a cold, miserable day (42 degrees with a 14 mile per hour wind at game time), the Cubs and Padres played three hours and 59 minutes before Reed Johnson led off the 11th inning with a home run off Luke Gregerson for a 2-1 win over the Padres.
June 30, 2011: Aramis Ramirez homered with one out in the ninth to tie this game 1-1. Pablo Sandoval homered for the Giants in the top of the 13th, but with two out in the bottom of the inning, a double and single tied the game again. After an intentional walk, Geovany Soto smashed a three-run homer and the Cubs won 5-2. Here is Geo’s walkoff [VIDEO].
May 30, 2012: The Cubs trailed the Padres 6-5 going into the bottom of the eighth. Starlin Castro’s RBI single with two out tied the game and with a runner on base and two out in the last of the ninth, Darwin Barney walked it off for an 8-6 victory. It was one of just three Cubs wins in a 3-16 stretch during that awful season. Here’s the blast from an unlikely source [VIDEO].
July 29, 2012: The Cubs nursed a 2-0 lead into the seventh, but the Cardinals tied it with single runs in the seventh and eighth. Starlin Castro led off the 10th with a single and Anthony Rizzo, playing in his 27th game as a Cub, homered to give the Cubs a 4-2 victory. Here’s Anthony’s first career walkoff homer [VIDEO].
June 6, 2014: The Cubs fashioned a 3-0 lead and held it until the ninth. Hector Rondon, who would later become a reliable closer, had a bad afternoon. The Marlins tied the game with three runs, including a two-run single by former Cub Reed Johnson.
The game carried on into the 13th, when Anthony Rizzo again ended it with a runner on base for a 5-3 Cubs victory.
September 15, 2014: Travis Wood, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon shut out the Reds on three hits. The Cubs didn’t score, either, until the ninth inning, when Anthony Rizzo’s second walkoff homer of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 win (they would shut out the Reds the next day, too, on a one-hitter by Jake Arrieta).