Cubs

Wade Davis saves Cubs: ‘That’s a bad motherf----- right there’

Wade Davis saves Cubs: ‘That’s a bad motherf----- right there’

WASHINGTON – Wade Davis stood on the mound at Nationals Park and suddenly lunged forward – the way someone would throw up in a toilet – and smacked his glove against right hand three times. Davis never looks nervous or shows really any emotions, but the Cubs closer embraced catcher Willson Contreras, twirled around and got swallowed by the mosh pit once it finally ended at 12:45 a.m. on Friday in Washington.

Davis had just struck out Bryce Harper, the Nationals superstar whiffing on a cutter that broke sharply toward the dirt, the last out in a 9-8 rollercoaster and a five-game National League Division Series pushed to the limits.

“That’s a bad mother----- right there,” pitcher Jon Lester said amid the champagne-and-beer celebration inside the visiting clubhouse. “I love that guy. I’ve got to play with a lot of good closers, and he’s a bad sumb----. He proved it tonight.”

Davis already proved it with the 2015 Kansas City Royals team that rode a power bullpen to a World Series title – and during a regular season where he converted his first 32 save chances as a Cub – but even this was next-level stuff.

In an elimination game where Kyle Hendricks lasted only four innings – and in a reversal the Twitter opinion trended toward why didn’t Joe Maddon pull him sooner – the manager cycled through Brian Duensing, Pedro Strop, Mike Montgomery, Carl Edwards Jr. and Jose Quintana, Saturday’s likely NL Championship Series Game 1 starter at Dodger Stadium.

“No, we hadn’t talked about it,” said Davis, the totally low-maintenance closer. “You just kind of figure it might happen.”

Eventually, the all-hands-on-deck strategy just became Davis as the last line of defense, responsible for the final seven outs.

In the same way that Aroldis Chapman gave this team an entirely different dimension during last year’s playoff run, Davis jogged in from the left-field bullpen at 11:47 p.m., inherited two runners in a two-run game and needed only four pitches to strike out Ryan Zimmerman to end the seventh inning.   

“He’s got ice in his veins,” said Ben Zobrist, who played with Davis on that championship team in Kansas City. “He really hung in tough there for us and pulled it off.”

The Cubs acquired Davis during the winter meetings for moments like this, knowing how valuable he would be in October, even if he cashes in somewhere else as a free agent.

Davis walked Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon to lead off the eighth inning, but he doesn’t rattle easily, getting pinch-hitter Adam Lind to ground into a double play. After Michael A. Taylor’s broken-bat RBI single, Contreras and first baseman Anthony Rizzo executed a back-pick play to throw out Jose Lobaton and end the threat.

“He does a great job of turning the page,” outfielder Jason Heyward said. “That last inning, in the ninth, I swear (it was like) he had just come out of the bullpen and he was a different Wade Davis. That’s unbelievable.”   

Davis mowed down the top of the Washington lineup and maxed out at 44 pitches, sending Harper and the Nationals home for the winter, because the Cubs felt like they had no other choice.

“I looked down there a couple times – no one was warming up,” Davis said. “I had to. These guys fought so hard, all season long. They fought hard in this game. The offense and the defense – everybody’s been battling – and I really didn’t want to let it happen to us then.”

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

In the latest CubsTalk Podcast, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan look ahead to Thanksgiving and discuss the official coaching hires for the Cubs.

They also talk about where the Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, whether Alex Cobb could factor into the rotation plans and Kap goes off on the 11:30 a.m. Opening Day start time.

Check out the entire podcast here:

NBC Sports Chicago to deliver a Chicago baseball Thanksgiving Day marathon

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NBC Sports Chicago to deliver a Chicago baseball Thanksgiving Day marathon

15-straight hours of “Classic” Cubs and White Sox full game replays from the 2017 season gets underway at 9:00 AM CT

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available 24/7 on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive  or via the NBC Sports app

Chicago, IL (November 21, 2017) -- NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will provide its viewers with a special 15-hour Thanksgiving Day marathon featuring four, thrilling “Classic” games from this past Cubs & White Sox season beginning this Thursday, November 23 at 9:00 AM CT. 

NBC Sports Chicago will also live stream this Classic games marathon to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NBC Sports app.  NOTE: MLB game replays will only be made available to those viewers within NBC Sports Chicago’s regular MLB viewing territory.

Note NBC Sports Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Cubs & White Sox “Classics” game marathon line-up below (all times Central Time):

THANKSGIVING DAY - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23

9:00 AM“White Sox Classics: White Sox vs. Houston (from August 10) – The future most certainly looked bright on the southside in this match-up as the White Sox defeated the eventual World Series champs, thanks in part to some 9th/extra-inning heroics from team’s highly-touted future cornerstone, Yoan Moncada.

12:30 PM“Cubs Classics: Cubs at Milwaukee (from September 21) – In one of their most exciting victories of the season, the Cubs were down 3-2 in the top of the ninth (not to mention being down to their last strike), but second baseman Javy Baez came through with a clutch RBI single to force extra innings, which was then followed by reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant crushing the Brew Crew’s hopes for division contention with a two-run blast in the 10th.

4:30 PM“White Sox Classics: White Sox at Detroit (from September 14) – The bats were indeed alive as the White Sox belted out 25 hits (a White Sox personal best total since 1981) featuring some impressive firepower courtesy of its top three stars: Avisail Garcia (5-5, HR, 7 RBI), Yoan Moncada (4-5, HR), and Jose Abreu (4-5, 2 RBI).

8:00 PM“Cubs Classics: Cubs at St. Louis (from September 27) – The Cubs clinched their second-straight NL Central Division title with all five of their runs coming in the 7th inning, which included shortstop Addison Russell’s GW three-run shot.  NOTE: Immediately following this “Cubs Classics” game (approx. 10:55 PM), fans can look forward to a replay of “Cubs Postgame Live” that featured the team’s NL Central Division-clinching locker room celebration.

REMINDER: NBC Sports Chicago/NBCSportsChicago.com/NBC Sports app will carry live coverage of all eight Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championship games this weekend (all in HD) beginning with the Class 1A title game Friday morning (Nov. 24) at 10:00 AM and all the way through to the Class 8A battle between area preps powerhouses Lincoln-Way East (13-0) vs. Loyola Academy (12-1) on Saturday night (Nov. 25) at 7:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago+.  Fans are urged to visit NBCSportsChicago.com/preps for full coverage and precise channel location/live streaming details.