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Today in Cubs history: David Bote hits an ultimate grand slam

I’m pretty sure you can never get enough of this one.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

David Bote’s ultimate grand slam on August 12, 2018, bringing the Cubs from a two-out, two-strike, 3-0 deficit to a 4-3 win in an instant, was hit in just his 34th big-league game. Bote had a solid 2017 in Double-A and hit well in the Arizona Fall League, putting him on the Cubs prospect radar after five previous ho-hum seasons. He had three callups from Triple-A Iowa in 2018 before coming to the Cubs to stay on July 26.

Bote had started the four games previous to August 12, going 4-for-14 with a triple, but Joe Maddon gave him the night off against Max Scherzer, who dominated that game through seven innings, striking out 11. What you might not remember is that Cole Hamels also dominated the Nats through seven, allowing just one hit and striking out nine. The one hit was a single by Daniel Murphy — who would become a Cub nine days later. The hit advanced a runner to third, who then scored on a sac fly. So the game went 1-0 Nats into the eighth. Carl Edwards Jr. threw a scoreless eighth, but in the ninth, former Nat Brandon Kintzler served up two runs. Kintzler was brutally bad in 2018 for the Cubs, posting a 7.00 ERA in 25 appearances.

Thus it was 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth. Ben Zobrist grounded out. Jason Heyward singled. Albert Almora Jr. was hit by a pitch. Kyle Schwarber popped up in foul territory. Nats reliever Ryan Madson hit Willson Contreras with a pitch, loading the bases.

That brought up Bote, pinch-hitting for Justin Wilson (who had replaced Kintzler). The count was 2-2. Madson’s fifth pitch was sent soaring into the night [VIDEO].

I can never see that enough, and most likely, neither can you.

The home run was what’s termed an “ultimate grand slam,” one that brings a team from a three-run deficit to a walkoff victory.

At the time, it was the 29th ultimate slam in MLB history. There have been three hit since then, including one by BCB favorite Daniel Vogelbach, when he was with the Brewers in 2021. Here’s the list of all 32 walkoff slams in MLB history. which includes one earlier in 2018 by Jason Heyward.

The slam also accomplished the following:

Bote hit another walkoff homer that year, not even two weeks later, August 24 against the Reds. Since that one, almost five years ago, the Cubs have had just five walkoff homers, four of them coming in extra innings:

May 8, 2019, Jason Heyward vs. Marlins (11th inning)
May 11, 2019, Willson Contreras vs. Brewers (15th inning)
July 16, 2019, Kyle Schwarber vs. Reds (10th inning)
August 23, 2021: Rafael Ortega vs. Rockies
September 8, 2021: Jason Heyward vs. Reds (10th inning)

Through Friday, the Cubs have played 150 home games without a walkoff homer since Heyward’s in 2021. They’ve had three walkoff wins in that span on hits other than homers, two in 2022 and one this year.

Bote’s ultimate grand slam was hit five years ago today, Sunday, August 12, 2018.