Greatest Moments: No. 21, The Exclamation Point on a Magical Season

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, January 5, 2011

(Editor's Note: Tenth in a series recalling the 30 greatest moments in Cubs history.)

On Sept. 18, 2008, the Cubs' magic number for clinching the NL Central appeared like it was going to be stuck at four. The North Siders trailed the second-place Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and nobody on base.

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Rookie Geovany Soto hit one of the more memorable home runs in Cubs history to cap a four-run game-tying rally against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 18, 2008.

They had managed just three hits off Milwaukee starter Dave Bush and four relievers. Not even the most optimistic of Cubs fans believed that victory was near. What happened next was incredible.

With Milwaukee closer Salomon Torres on the mound, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun misplayed an Aramis Ramirez flyball into a double. Jim Edmonds followed with an RBI single to center and advanced to third on a Mark DeRosa single to right.

Up stepped rookie catcher Geovany Soto. He launched a first-pitch Torres fastball into the left-field bleachers for a no-doubt, three-run, game-tying homer.

Wrigley Field was up for grabs.

"That's the beauty of baseball," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "You never know what's going to happen until you get that final out."

Carlos Marmol set the the Brewers down in order in the 10th inning and Kerry Wood held them scoreless in the 11th and 12th before the Cubs finished off the improbable 7-6 win in the bottom of the 12th on a two-out, RBI single by Derrek Lee off Carlos Villanueva.

The Cubs clinched their second straight division title two days later. It was the best of times.

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