Cubs

Miguel Montero's big hits back it up: 'You don't load the bases to face me'

Miguel Montero's big hits back it up: 'You don't load the bases to face me'

CLEVELAND — Miguel Montero only had two hits in the 2016 postseason, but both were massive knocks that wound up being the difference in a pair of wins. 

The 33-year-old catcher somehow found a way to one-up his go-ahead grand slam in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, when his bases loaded RBI single off Cleveland Indians reliever Bryan Shaw put the Cubs up 8-6 in the 10th inning of Game 7. That opposite-field base hit through a drawn-in infield wound up being critical as Carl Edwards Jr. allowed a run in the bottom of the frame before the Cubs won, 8-7, at Progressive Field to win their first World Series in 108 years.

“I haven’t had too many opportunities, I haven’t played a whole lot,” Montero said. “It was tough. I kept my head up, I kept grinding and looking for my opportunity and when they gave it to me, I gotta be ready.”

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Montero only played in nine of the Cubs’ 17 postseason games, totaling 12 plate appearances and two starts. Opponents were happy to let Montero, who hit .216 with a .684 OPS in the regular season, beat them: Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Blanton intentionally walked Chris Coghlan to load the bases for Montero in Game 1 of the NLCS, and Shaw intentionally walked Addison Russell to get to Montero in Game 7 of the World Series.

In both spots, Montero delivered in monumental fashion. 

“You don’t load the bases to face me,” a Budweiser- and champagne-soaked Montero grinned. “The numbers are out there.” 

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: