Michael A. Taylor’s eighth inning at bat started with the bases loaded and Chicago Cubs’ right-hander Carl Edwards, Jr. on the mound. Edwards, Jr. took over for left-hander Jon Lester with a runner on and issued back-to-back walks to the first two batters he faced. He stayed on to face Taylor though.
But when Edwards fell behind 1-0 on Taylor too, Joe Maddon decided to go to the bullpen for his closer, Wade Davis, who threw a first-pitch strike to get to 1-1.
The next pitch ended up sailing out to right field, however, against a stiff wind, landing in the basket above Wrigley Field’s ivy-covered walls for a grand slam that put the Nats ahead, 5-0.
“Give Taylor credit because you have to scald that ball to get it out,” Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon said after dropping Game 4 of the NLDS.
Taylor said the mid-AB pitching change was different, but he just tried to stay as focused as possible and treat it like a new at bat.
“After they brought in Davis, I tried to just start the at-bat over,” Taylor explained.
“Just go up there like I'm starting against Davis, go through my routine, things like that.
“Watched a little video before I went out there, so felt good once I stepped back in.”
Taylor was 0 for 2 with a walk and two Ks before the eighth, and 2 for 10 in the NLDS to that point, but he said he felt good at the plate.
“I felt pretty good on the ball I fouled off. The at-bat before, I kind of got caught thinking with the pitcher, guessing a little bit. So I tried to stick with my approach right there and just get another pitch out over.
“And then afterwards, I was kind of numb, just running around the bases. Honestly, I didn't think it was going to get out the way the wind was blowing in.”
What wind? MAT COMING BACK WITH POWER, POWER!!:
BRING US YOUR POTATO EMOJIS! pic.twitter.com/xYF9skjdo5— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 11, 2017
FROM BREAKING T: The eighth inning of an October elimination game isn’t a bad time for your franchise’s first postseason grand slam. Just ask Michael A. Tater, er Taylor.