SAN FRANCISCO -- For a 39-year-old catcher savoring the final days of his baseball playing career, David Ross is hardly riding into the sunset quietly
Having already become the first catcher since 1935 to record a pickoff and caught-stealing in a postseason game, Ross nudged his way into another historic footnote by becoming the oldest catcher to hit a postseason homer in Tuesday's 6-5 win. It tied the game in the third inning, briefly taking batterymate John Lackey off the hook for allowing a first-inning run. Next up will be Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, set for Saturday at Wrigley Field against either the Nationals or Dodgers on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
"We've been down this road together," said Lackey. "I couldn't really root for a better dude. This is his last year. I'd love to be in a fight with him any day of the week."
Leading off the inning, Ross crushed a 1-0 changeup from Giants starter Matt Moore, who allowed only one other hit in his eight-inning effort. The home run, which traveled a projected 358 feet, according to Statcast™, was Ross' first postseason blast, and the fifth and final one the Cubs hit in the series.
Ross supplanted Bob Boone (1986 ALCS) as the oldest catcher to homer in the postseason and passed Moises Alou (2003 NLCS) as the oldest Cubs player, period, to hit a postseason homer.
His inclusion in the lineup Tuesday hadn't been a guarantee either. He hadn't started behind the plate for one of Lackey's starts since July 5, but his experience, manager Joe Maddon explained pregame, earned Ross the nod for his second start of the series.
Jenifer Langosch has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.