Miguel Montero became the first player in postseason history to hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit grand slam when his dramatic eighth-inning shot sent the Cubs toward an 8-4 win in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series (Game 2 Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, FS1) over the Dodgers on Saturday night in Chicago.
In a postseason already filled with indelible moments, Montero added another when his majestic drive off an 0-2 Joe Blanton slider cleared the right-field fence and sent Wrigley Field into an uproar.
With that, the Cubs were on their way to a 1-0 NLCS lead, an enviable position, given that teams that have taken Game 1 have won 70 percent of NLCS series.
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The Dodgers, on the other hand, haven't won a postseason series after losing Game 1 since the 1988 NLCS.
• NLCS Game 2: Tonight at 8 ET/7 CT/5 PT on FS1
There was much more that made this game noteworthy. But first, back to the most historic moment of the night: Montero's eighth-inning grand slam.
• Montero's grand slam was his first career postseason home run, and the first go-ahead pinch-hit slam in MLB history. Two other players have hit pinch-hit grand slams in the playoffs, but neither put their team ahead. The Yankees' Ricky Ledee hit the most recent one, in Game 4 of the 1999 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox. The Reds' Mark Lewis hit the first in Game 3 of the 1995 NL Division Series -- also against the Dodgers.
• Only Ledee and Montero's grand slams came in the eighth inning or later, and only Montero's was a go-ahead home run. Montero's home run was also his hardest hit of the year, a 105.3-mph rocket deep into the right-field seats at Wrigley Field.
• Montero's homer was only the fourth go-ahead grand slam hit in the eighth inning or later by any player -- pinch-hitter or otherwise -- in a postseason game. The last was a walk-off grand slam hit by Nelson Cruz, then with the Texas Rangers, breaking a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS against Detroit.
• The grand slam by Montero was immediately followed by a solo homer by Dexter Fowler, marking the third time the Cubs have hit back-to-back home runs in their postseason history.
Montero's slam broke a 3-3 tie that lasted less than half an inning. Trailing 3-1 for most of the game, the Dodgers tied the game in the top of the eighth off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman. With the bases loaded and two outs, Adrián González ripped a game-tying single into center field off Chapman, the Dodgers' first hit with the bases loaded this postseason.
Gonzalez turned around a 102.3-mph Chapman fastball, hitting it 104.7 mph off the bat, according to Statcast™. It was the fourth-hardest hit against Chapman this season. This year (including the postseason), MLB hitters were just 8-for-75, a .107 batting average, against pitches 102 mph or faster.
• Chapman blew his second save of the postseason (also Game 3 of the NLDS against San Francisco). Only six relievers have blown more than two saves in a single postseason. Most recently, Jeurys Familia blew three with the Mets in the 2015 World Series (Games 1, 4 and 5).
Chapman blew three saves in 39 chances during the regular season.
• Chapman was the fifth pitcher brought on in relief of starter Jon Lester, whose night ended after 77 pitches despite allowing just one earned run over six innings. Following his stellar performance in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants, Lester is now just the seventh Cubs pitcher in history to record two starts of at least six innings and one or fewer earned runs in the same postseason. The last Cubs pitcher to do so was right-hander Lon Warneke in the 1935 World Series.
• The Cubs spotted Lester an early 3-0 lead, the third run courtesy of some daring baserunning by Javier Báez. After an unsuccessful squeeze attempt in the second inning, Baez broke for home when Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz threw behind him to third base. Baez beat the return throw to the plate, and in doing so, became the first player to steal home in a postseason game since the Rangers' Elvis Andrus in Game 2 of the 2010 ALCS against the Yankees.
Baez is the 20th player to steal home in the postseason, and the first Cubs player to do so since Jimmy Slagle in 1907. Other notable players to steal home in the postseason include Jackie Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg and Tim McCarver.