The Cubs encountered a ton of adversity in the 2016 postseason, overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the NLCS and a 3-1 deficit in the World Series en route to winning a title. With that in mind, it was semi-surprising to hear which game former manager Joe Maddon believes was the linchpin to that title run.
Speaking on WSCR's "Inside the Clubhouse" on Saturday, Maddon said the win against the Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS doesn’t get enough credit for its importance to the 2016 championship.
“That’s the game to me that probably won the World Series for us. I mean that sincerely, from the bottom of my heart,” Maddon told Bruce Levine and Matt Spiegel. “Johnny Cueto was no fun, and he was [gonna] be no fun one more time, I’m telling you.”
Cueto threw 7 2/3 shutout innings in Game 1 of the series before surrendering a solo blast to Javier Báez. The Cubs hung on for a 1-0 win, but Cueto was set to pitch Game 5 at Wrigley Field.
It looked like the Cubs were going to have to beat Cueto again, as Giants hurler Matt Moore stymied them through eight innings in Game 4. Maddon’s squad trailed 5-2 in the top of the ninth inning before rallying for four runs. Aroldis Chapman slammed the door on San Francisco in the bottom half to clinch the series.
“I really was concerned in that game earlier in the game, based on how that was playing out,” Maddon said. “That was the linchpin to the whole World Series for me, was that game in San Francisco.”Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.