Where does Archie Bradley rank among the best pitcher-hitting moments in postseason history?
If you happened to hear a faint roar in the distance at around 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, don't be alarmed: That was just Chase Field rocking after Archie Bradley -- yes, that Archie Bradley -- came through with a two-out, two-run triple in the NL Wild Card Game.
As you might imagine, he was pretty pumped about it:
But while Bradley's triple was instantly iconic, where does it fit in among the very best October hitting performances by a pitcher?
Jake Arrieta, Game 3, 2016 NLDS
Not only is Madison Bumgarner a postseason demigod, but he entered the 2016 NLDS having never allowed a homer to an opposing pitcher in his entire career. So, naturally, Arrieta took him deep in the second inning:
Dave McNally, Game 3, 1970 World Series
McNally hit a two-run homer in the 1969 Fall Classic -- but it came in a Game 5 loss, as the Miracle Mets finished off Baltimore for their first-ever title.
So, as the O's returned to the World Series in 1970, how could he top himself? How about becoming the first pitcher to hit a postseason grand slam:
Kerry Wood, Game 7, 2003 NLCS
After a heartbreaking loss in Game 6, the Cubs entered Game 7 against the Marlins at Wrigley with the Curse of the Billy Goat looming ominously overhead. Giving up a three-run dinger to Miguel Cabrera in the top of the first certainly didn't help matters.
But Chicago would not go gentle into that good night. It quickly tied things up again, thanks to a homer from the most unlikely of sources:
The Cubs eventually fell, 9-6, but at least the curse is no more.
Bob Gibson, Game 7, 1967 World Series
As if facing Bob Gibson in Game 7 of the World Series wasn't daunting enough, he went ahead and helped his own cause with a solo shot to left-center at Fenway:
Amazingly, that wasn't even the only World Series homer Gibson hit -- he went yard again the very next year, in a Game 4 win over the Tigers.
Steve Carlton, 1978 NLCS, Game 3
After dropping Games 1 and 2 to the Dodgers, the Phillies watched their 4-0 Game 3 lead get trimmed to 4-3 at a raucous Dodger Stadium. Heading into the sixth inning, Philly desperately needed some insurance. It needed a slugger. It needed Steve Carlton:
Lefty's three-run blast -- just the 10th of his career -- brought the lead back up to four, and Philly cruised to a season-saving 9-4 win.
Dontrelle Willis, Game 4, 2003 NLDS
You probably remember Game 4 of the 2003 NLDS for That Play at Home Plate, but the Marlins wouldn't have even taken a lead into the ninth inning without the effort of Willis -- not on the mound, but at the plate.
The lefty singled twice and scored a run in his first two at-bats of the day, and he saved his best for last. In the bottom of the fifth, Willis smoked a triple to center, the last by a pitcher in the postseason until Bradley on Wednesday night.
What will Bradley and the rest of the NL's finest #PitchersWhoRake do for an encore? There's only one way to find out: the Cubs and Nationals meet for Game 1 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on TBS on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT.