After a great weekend of baseball capped off by an improbable walk-off on Sunday Night Baseball, we wanted to rank the Top 10 walk-offs from the MLB season so far this year. With a plethora to choose from, we took into account things like crowd reaction, bat flip, improbability and magnitude of the game to select our Top 10. Let’s begin.
10. Yairo Munoz completes the comeback against the Pirates (5/31/18)
The St. Louis Cardinals lead all of baseball in walk-off wins, so it’s only fitting they land in the rankings.
Trailing 8-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals needed a rally. With Felipe Vazquez (currently third in the NL in saves with 26) in to close, the task seemed unlikely. After a two-run single by Luke Voit, Yairo Munoz came to the plate with an opportunity. He swung at the first pitch he saw and delivered a three-run bomb to walk it off for the Cards. This completed the five-run comeback in the ninth, and the Cards proceeded to take three out of four from Pittsburgh.
9. Daniel Robertson‘s walk-off grand slam against the Marlins (7/22/18)
Trailing 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Rays were down to their last shot. With the bases loaded, Daniel Robertson came to the plate and took the second pitch he saw into the seats for the first walk-off grand slam in franchise history. The Rays have been one of the more intriguing teams in baseball this season with their propensity for sending relievers in the mound to start ballgames, but this history-making blast is what cracks the list.
8. David Peralta walks it off for the D-Backs in the 14th (8/16/18)
As the two teams at the top of their respective divisions, the Diamondbacks and Phillies were in a pretty meaningful series in early August.
Arrieta pitched for Philly in this one and threw an eight shutout innings. Leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th, Seranthony Dominguez came in to close it out. David Peralta would start the comeback and lead off the inning with a solo shot. The D-Backs proceeded to tie the game and send matters to extra innings. Bullpens would lock down the offenses until the 14th inning rolled around. Peralta came back up to the plate and hit another solo bomb to walk it off for the D-Backs and complete the comeback. With his homer, Peralta became the first player in 10 years to hit three extra-base hits after the eighth inning of a game.
7. Maikel Franco downs the Marlins with walk-off bomb (8/2/18)
After the Phillies tied the game at two in the bottom of the ninth, third baseman Maikel Franco came to the dish with two men on and two outs. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Franco deposited one into the left-field bleachers for a three-run homer. This win marked the first win for the Phillies all season when trailing after eight innings, and a pretty cool moment for Phillies fans as they kept their lead atop the NL East. The icing on the cake is the bat flip from Franco after the ball lands in the seats.
6. Ryan McMahon stuns the Dodgers (8/11/18)
A night after he hit a bomb in the seventh inning to tie the game, Ryan McMahon came to the plate with the Rockies trailing by two with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He took the second pitch he saw and launched a three-run homer to stun the Dodgers. Coming into the series trailing to the Dodgers by 3.5 games, the Rockies needed to do damage to keep their hopes alive in the NL West. With the help of McMahon’s heroics, the Rockies took three of four games to get right back into the mix in the division.
5. Jason Heyward walk-off grand slam against the Phillies (6/7/18)
After the Phillies took game one of this three-game set in early June, Aaron Nola took the hill for the Phillies in game two. Tied at three in the top of the ninth, Dylan Cozens drilled an unlikely two-run homer for the Phillies and they took a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. Seranthony Dominguez came on to close it out but loaded the bases with two outs. Up came Jason Heyward. The 29-year-old right fielder had signed the big contract for eight years and $184 million with the Cubs in 2016, but hit .230 and .259 in his first two seasons with the team. With two strikes and two outs, Heyward slugged one into the right-field seats for a walk-off grand slam, sending Wrigley into a frenzy. The moment encapsulates Heyward’s renaissance this year in Chicago, as he sits around the .280 mark after this weekend’s series against the Nationals.
4. David Bote and Anthony Rizzo go back-to-back and walk it off against the D-Backs (7/26/18)
The Cubbies welcomed Arizona to Wrigley for a big four-game series in late July. After the D-Backs took two of the first three, the Cubs were looking for a win in the finale to earn the split. The Cubs entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 6-4. With one out and a man on first, Kris Bryant‘s replacement David Bote launched a two-run dinger to tie the game at six. On the very next pitch, Anthony Rizzo hammered one 453 feet into the right-field bleachers. It’s not every day you see a team tie the game and win it with homers on consecutive pitches, and the Cubs find themselves in the top five again as a result.
3. Eric Thames dinger downs the Rockies (8/3/18)
A night after getting drubbed by the Dodgers 21-5, the Brewers came home and welcomed the Rockies to town for a three-game set. Milwaukee entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2 with Wade Davis on to shut the door for Colorado. With two men on and two outs, Eric Thames came to the plate. With a count of 1-1, Thames crushed a three-run homer, walking it off for the Milwaukee. The Brewers need every win they can get in order to keep pace with the Cubs in the NL Central, and this win against Colorado marks one of the better victories of their season.
2. Andrew Benintendi walk-off single to complete sweep of Yankees (8/5/18)
The Yankees came to Fenway to battle the Red Sox in a four-game series between the two best teams in baseball. The Yankees entered the series trailing the Red Sox by 4.5 games in the AL East, so this series had the potential to swing the tide in the favor of the Bombers.
The Red Sox had other ideas and took the first three games of the series. In game four on Sunday Night Baseball, the Yankees took a 4-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth. After a Boston rally to tie it at four, the game went to extras. In the 10th, Andrew Benintendi knocked a base hit up the middle, and pinch runner Tony Renda came around to score and win it for the Sox. They completed the four-game sweep and increased their lead in the division to 8.5 games, a lead that almost ensures that the red-hot Sox should be able to hold off the Yankees in the AL East. In an amazing series finale featuring the best teams and rivalry in baseball, this one was a no-doubter for the top 10.
1.David Bote walk-off grand slam against the Nats (8/12/18)
The walk-off that prompted us to make this list comes in at number one. In one of the most improbable moments in baseball this year, this walk-off had everything.
Max Scherzer took the hill and dominated, striking out 11 over seven scoreless innings as the Nats took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. The Nationals were on the brink of a huge series win, and one that they were hoping would give them momentum to catch the Phillies and Braves atop the NL East. With regular closer Sean Doolittle out, Ryan Madson came on to shut the door. Madson would load the bases before David Bote came to the plate. With Kris Bryant on the DL, Bote–the 554th pick in the 2012 draft- had been called up five different times for the Cubs this year. With a 2-2 count and two outs, he sent one into the seats for a walk-off grand slam and the Cubs took the game and the series. An improbable comeback, a feel-good story, an awesome bat flip, and playoff atmosphere gave this moment everything, causing us to put it at the top of our list.
Which walk-off wins would you put in your top 10? Let us know in the comments below!