Addison Russell just loves having the bases loaded apparently. Who doesn’t, right? But this guy. You remember what he did in Game 6 of the World Series:
I remember at that moment I was just hoping beyond hope for at least a fly ball. And we got about 430 feet of one.
But this particular post is not about the World Series grand slam. Instead, this is about two days in early September when Russell played hero with the bases loaded in the 7th inning in back-to-back games.
On the first day of September, the Cubs were kicking off a relatively big series against the Giants (a series that wrapped with a 3-1 Cubs win (like the NLDS) and The Jason Heyward Game). The Cubs trailed 4-3 going into the bottom of the 7th, but hadn’t been able to score before there were two outs. The bases were loaded, and it looked like the Cubs might squander their best chance to come back in the game.
That’s when Addison Russell did what it seems like he always did last year – he busted out a huge hit with two outs to score some runs:
The Cubs went on to win the game, and the Giants, being sufficiently intimidated (well, I assume), could not beat the Cubs later in the playoffs.
That bases-loaded hit came one night after Russell made one of the Cubs’ clear three best catches on the year (together with the Heyward wall-crash in San Francisco, and the Anthony Rizzo wall catch).
Once again, the situation was as big as it gets: although the Cubs had a solid three-run lead in the 7th inning against the Pirates, the bases were loaded, and Gregory Polanco blooped one down the left field line. With the runners going and the ball heading over toward the wall, there was a good chance the bases were about to be cleared, and the game was about to be tied.
And then Addison Russell came flying out of nowhere and said NO SIR:
Covering 106.8 feet at a 98.5 percent route efficiency, and sprawling out to make the catch pretty much means Russell had to be nearly perfect to make that play. Throw in the fact that the wind was howling in and moving that ball’s trajectory the whole time and it’s a mind-blowing catch.
If “clutch” is the ability not to be overcome by a moment, and play to the best of your ability, then Addison Russell is clearly as clutch as they come.