The Chicago Cubs entered Tuesday night with a five-game losing streak, and several key players on the disabled list (Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, Carl Edwards, etc). They needed a spark.
And Javy Baez has provided that spark.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Baez hit a flyball down the right field line at Dodger Stadium that hit the bottom of the wall, and he had to settle for a double, with Ben Zobrist advancing to third base. Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras then struck out, leaving the Cubs’ slumping offense with another missed opportunity to score runs.
So in the top of the fifth, decided to just get a bit more muscle into his drive to right field and take care of the run-scoring issues himself with this game-tying oppo taco:
In the top of the sixth, the Cubs took a 3-2 lead and Baez came to the plate with the bags juiced. Javy showed that his pull power is just fine too, and cranked this no-doubter grand slam:
Javier Baez grand slam… Wow. pic.twitter.com/QbrjhQPvU6
— Daren Willman (@darenw) June 27, 2018
Baez also added a single, giving him four hits on the night.
And El Mago made a couple “wow” plays defensively as usual, such as this wacky rundown play that he turned into two outs thanks to his cannon arm:
Anywhere on the diamond, @javy23baez is an All-Star.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 27, 2018
On the season, the 25-year-old has 16 homers, 56 runs batted in, an .870 OPS, and a 2.1 fWAR. There would seem to be a good chance that Javy heads to his first All-Star game this year, and he’s already said that he’d like to be in the Home Run Derby too. That would certainly be fun, and “fun” is the best word to describe Mr. Baez.
Update: The Cubs went on to win the game (and end the losing streak), 9-4.