Here is a stat that likely will make Royals fans wince.
However, it speaks to the amazing performance by Cubs closer Wade Davis in Chicago’s 9-8 win over Washington in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Thursday night.
Since 1973, just two pitchers have recorded seven or more outs to get a save in a winner-take-all playoff game:
Davis on Thursday and Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“What he pulled out at the end of the game for us was second to none for a closer,” Cubs left fielder (and former Royal) Ben Zobrist said after Game 5. “He’s just got a big heart, a big guy, he comes up big in the clutch.”
Davis came on with two runners on and two outs in the seventh inning and struck out Ryan Zimmerman to protect a 9-7 lead. The Nationals got a run in the eighth against Davis, but he retired Washington in order in the ninth inning, including strikeouts of Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper to end the game and the series.
The Cubs acquired Davis from the Royals last winter for outfielder Jorge Soler, and he had 32 saves this season. Davis’ contributions were known throughout the Cubs organization.
“Wade Davis, he’s our MVP this year,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts told reporters. “Without him, I don’t know where we are. And that wasn’t just tonight. It was all season.”
Davis also earned the eternal respect of his teammates.
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester told reporters he “blacked out,” and could only watch the final three outs on Thursday. He admitted he can’t watch postseason games from the dugout because of nerves, but took in the ninth inning.
There is one thing Lester does know about Davis, and he told Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times: “That’s a bad mother(expletive). That’s a bad sumbitch.”
I think Jules Winnfield should just give his wallet to Davis.
It wasn’t just the Cubs who were amazed by Davis on Thursday. Former teammate Kelvin Herrera tweeted: “Wow. 7-out save for Wade (flame emoji)”