In Part 2 of this series, we looked at memorable walkoff wins since 1916 that the Cubs have had against the seven original National League ballclubs. Today, we’ll have a look at the eight NL expansion teams (The Brewers, of course, came to the NL when the AL expanded in 1998).
The numbers, of course, go generally in the order the teams came into the league, except for the Brewers, where the Cubs have more walkoff wins than against the D-backs (who entered the NL at the same time as Milwaukee) because the Brewers are a division rival.
Again, a note: This series is limited to regular-season games.
Here’s what I consider the most memorable walkoff win against each of the NL expansion ballclubs.
Mets: July 30, 1989
I wrote about this game in the walkoff home runs series last spring. This was one of the most important games of the 1989 NL East race. The Cubs had entered the series 3½ games behind the Expos in second place, and this win gave them a sweep over the Mets and moved them to within 1½ games of the top spot.
Astros: August 29, 1989
Again, a key game in the ‘89 NL East race, this is one of the most memorable walkoffs in Cubs history, a game they trailed 9-0 going into the bottom of the sixth.
I have written about this game before, most recently on its 30th anniversary August 29, 2019:
Among other things, that game accomplished this:
The Cubs had completed a 10-9 victory after being down nine runs, tying the biggest such comeback in franchise history, also accomplished September 28, 1930, when they spotted the Reds a 9-0 lead and won 13-11.
Here’s the game-winning hit:
Honorable mention: Ellis Burton’s ultimate walkoff grand slam against Houston (then the Colt .45s), August 31, 1963.
Padres: May 30, 2012
I’m including a win in a season the Cubs won only 61 games because this one broke a 12-game losing streak, the franchise’s longest since a 13-game streak in 1982.
It came from an unlikely source, too, Darwin Barney, Here is the only walkoff HR of Barney’s career [VIDEO].
Nationals/Expos: August 12, 2018
There really can’t be any game qualifying as “most memorable walkoff” for this franchise matchup other than David Bote’s walkoff slam. It’s one of the most memorable in Cubs history.
I have, obviously, written about this numerous times; here’s one article about it from last spring.
Honorable mention: The Cubs were facing the Expos on Opening Day, April 6, 1973. Montreal scored a pair in the first, the Cubs scored one, and that’s how the score stayed until the bottom of the ninth.
Joe Pepitone led off with a single and Ron Santo reached on an error. Two walks tied the game, but then Don Kessinger and Jim Hickman made outs.
Rick Monday, the next hitter, walked with the bases loaded to win the game for the Cubs.
Brewers: September 18, 2008
There are two 1998 games that could have been listed here, as well as Willson Contreras’ 15th-inning walkoff in 2019, but I am choosing this one instead for a couple of reasons. First, I want to try to not have every game in this list be a walkoff homer. Second, this game needed a remarkable comeback for the Cubs to even tie it.
They went into the bottom of the ninth losing 6-2. The first two hitters in that inning made routine outs. Aramis Ramirez doubled and Jim Edmonds singled him in to make it 6-3. Mark DeRosa singled Edmonds to third and Geovany Soto smashed a three-run homer to tie the game:
It went into the 12th still 6-6. Daryle Ward led off with a walk off future Cub Carlos Villanueva. Jason Marquis ran for him and was sacrificed to second by Reed Johnson. Alfonso Soriano was intentionally walked and a fly ball by Ryan Theriot advanced Marquis to third, where he scored on this Derrek Lee single.
Rockies: June 25, 2007
The Cubs went into the ninth inning with an 8-3 lead. What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty, as it turned out. Scott Eyre and Bob Howry allowed the first six batters to reach base; all of them scored, capped by a three-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki.
During Howry’s poor outing a fan ran on the field and tried to attack him:
After Tulowitzki’s homer, a fan jumped onto the field from the roof of the Rockies’ dugout and charged at Howry. The fan was just a few feet from the mound when security guards tackled him.
“As soon as I turned around the guy clotheslined him and took him down,” said Howry, who hardly moved as the fan charged his way. “He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m trying to give up home runs, what do you think?”
Here’s what happened:
In the bottom of the ninth, Mark DeRosa led off with a single and two outs later Koyie Hill singled. Ryan Theriot then hit a ground ball that should have ended the game on a force at second, but Rockies second baseman Kaz Matsui dropped the ball. That loaded the bases.
Alfonso Soriano singled in two runs for the win:
Honorable mention: In a game that had five lead changes, the Cubs had to come from behind in the ninth to win 12-11 on a Mickey Morandini single, May 4, 1999.
Marlins: August 3, 2016
The Cubs went into the ninth inning of this game trailing 4-2.
The Marlins brought in their closer, A.J. Ramos, and he had a really bad day. Good for the Cubs, though!
Miguel Montero led off with a double and Javier Baez singled him to third. Matt Szczur walked, loading the bases. A sac fly by Dexter Fowler made it 4-3, but Kris Bryant struck out. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked, loading the bases again.
That’s when Ramos simply stopped throwing strikes. A walk to Ben Zobrist tied the game, and then this happened [VIDEO].
The wild pitch gave the Cubs a 5-4 win, the fourth of what would become an 11-game winning streak.
Diamondbacks: July 26, 2018
This one had not one, but two home runs, back-to-back, to win the game for the Cubs. They trailed 6-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, and Ben Zobrist led off with a walk.
One out later, David Bote tied it [VIDEO].
Two pitches later, Anthony Rizzo won it [VIDEO].
Honorable mention: Aramis Ramirez’ walkoff single in the 14th inning defeated the D-backs 4-3 in a game that started at 2:20, had a three-hour rain delay and didn’t end until almost 10 p.m., August 1, 2003.
Part 4 of this series, featuring Cubs walkoff wins vs. American League teams, will run tomorrow.