It’s always fun to see a mistake eventually prove beneficial, and that’s just what happened with the Chicago Cubs against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night. With the game tied 0-0 in the bottom of the first, two out, a 3-1 count, and Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman on first, the Braves sent Freeman with the pitch. It proved to be a strike, and catcher Willson Contreras threw down to second, but the throw was short of the bag; shortstop Addison Russell couldn’t grab it, and it bounced off Freeman into left field. It took a while for left fielder Kyle Schwarber to get there, so Freeman then rounded third and tried for home, but Schwarber threw a strike to Contreras, who tagged Freeman out to end the inning. And the Cubs’ Twitter account had a sense of humor about it:
Just like we drew it up in Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/Y0X2XBgDDJ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 15, 2018
While Schwarber is far from the fleetest of foot in left field, he’s demonstrated a great arm, and has thrown several runners out recently. And maybe there’s some overconfidence from opposing runners with him out there. Cases like this should be proof that you risk his arm at your peril, though. And they’re also proof that even mistakes sometimes work out in the long run.
If this throw to second is a lot better, Russell grabs it and maybe tags Freeman out (though he had enough speed that he might have been safe even with an ideal throw), but if it’s only slightly better, Russell pulls it in but can’t make a play. Instead, the throw going off Freeman led to him trying to take two extra bases, and that didn’t work out. So the Cubs wound up getting out of the inning unscathed thanks to a mistake. That wasn’t part of the plan, but they’ll certainly take it.
[Chicago Cubs on Twitter]