SAN FRANCISCO -- Three days after getting a critical assist from Wrigley Field's outfield basket to nab a Game 1 win in their best-of-five National League Division Series against the Giants, the Cubs utilized the hood of a car to extend Game 3.Kris Bryant's game-tying home run off Giants closer
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three days after getting a critical assist from Wrigley Field's outfield basket to nab a Game 1 win in their best-of-five National League Division Series against the Giants, the Cubs utilized the hood of a car to extend Game 3.
Kris Bryant's game-tying home run off Giants closer Sergio Romo in the ninth inning on Monday barely cleared the wall in left field. The 342-foot blast -- shorter than any other homer Bryant has hit in the Statcast™ era (2015-16) -- dented the top of a smiling orange car that is part of a large ad along the left-field wall.
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It was just far enough to credit Bryant with his third career postseason home run and to tie the game at 5-5 after the Giants had taken the lead with three runs off Aroldis Chapman a half-inning earlier. The Cubs later fell, 6-5, in 13 innings at AT&T Park to foil a possible series sweep. Game 4 is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
"I didn't think he got it as well as he did," acknowledged Romo, who had the Giants' 31st blown save of the season. "You tip the cap. Obviously, he's a strong dude. It's not the first homer he's hit. At the same time, we've got to execute. Can't take anything away from him."
The home run, the fourth for the Cubs this postseason, followed a leadoff walk by Dexter Fowler. Those homers have accounted for seven of the team's 11 runs, including three from Jake Arrieta's blast off Madison Bumgarner in the second inning.
"Jake hitting the homer there, great start. It was fun," Bryant said. "Our pitchers, they're unbelievable. For myself, it's probably the biggest hit of my career."
Bryant joined Sammy Sosa (2003) as the only players in franchise history to connect for a game-tying homer in the ninth inning of a postseason game. He also became the first right-handed batter to homer off Romo in his 26 playoff appearances.
The trajectory Bryant's ball took before striking the top of the outfield advertisement included a 42-degree launch angle, according to Statcast™ projections. Not only was that the highest launch angle for a postseason home run in the Statcast™ era, but it was also the second-highest launch angle of Bryant's 39 regular-season home runs.
The homer was the lone hit the Cubs had in a 31-batter span that began in the fourth and ran until the 13th. And that inability to do more damage after a quick strike against Bumgarner left Bryant's home run mostly as a footnote on a night deep with highlights
"It was a fun [game] to be a part of even though we didn't win," Bryant said after the longest game in Cubs' postseason history. "We gave it all we've got. Great at-bats, one through nine, and from our pitchers, too. It was just a great game."
Jenifer Langosch has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007.