Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

8/31 Extra bases

* According to Elias, Jorge Soler is the first player in Major League history, since the RBI was invented in 1920, to record an extra base hit and an RBI in each of his first four Major League games.

* Travis Wood is the third left-handed pitcher to start for the Cubs, closing the series Sunday against the Cardinals. It’s the first time they’ve had three consecutive left-handed starting pitchers since Rich Hill, Sean Marshall and Ted Lilly started Aug. 17-18 and August 20, 2007. The Cubs have not started four straight lefties since 1966 (Ken Holtzman, Dave Dowling, Curt Simmons and Dick Ellsworth).

* The Cubs are 16-13 heading into the last day of August, guaranteeing the first .500 or better record this calendar month since going 16-13 in August 2011. The Cubs have reached 17 wins in August just once in the last 20 years (20-8 in 2008).

* Kyle Hendricks leads all NL rookies with four wins and a 1.69 ERA this month. He is one of only three unbeaten NL starters at 4-0 this month (Jeff Locke and Jordan Zimmermann).

* Javier Baez has seven home runs in August, trailing only Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (eight) for most in the NL this month.

* Hector Rondon has eight saves this month, tied for most in the NL.

* Starlin Castro’s .379 batting average is fourth-best in the NL.

* The Cubs pitching staff have given up four hits or less in seven games in August for the first time in a calendar month since May 2002. The Cubs have only twice in the last 100 years recorded eight games with allowing four hits or less within a calendar month: July 1976 and May 1952.

8/30 Soler and Baez

Jorge Soler has matched Javier Baez game for game, as both homered in their first game, and recorded multi-homer games in their third. They are the only Cubs in franchise history with three home runs in their first three games and join St. Louis’ Joe Cunningham (1954) as the only three big league players to do so since 1900. They are the only Cubs players in franchise history with a multi-homer game within their first three Major League games.

8/29 Cubs 7, Cardinals 2

Jorge Soler belted two home runs and Javier Baez smacked a tie-breaking two-run double to power the Cubs to a 7-2 victory Friday night and wake up the Cardinals.

“They have some studs,” St. Louis starter Shelby Miller said of the revamped. “They’ve done a good job of rebuilding that offense. They’re tough, man. They have a lot of power in that lineup, and even have guys who are a little scrappy and can run. They’re definitely a tough lineup to face.”

Playing just his third big league game, Soler led off the seventh inning with his second career home run to tie the game, and he added a two-run, 442-shot in the eighth that landed on the concourse behind the left-field bleachers at Busch Stadium.

Soler is the second Cubs player in history with a multi-homer game in his first three career games; the first was Baez, who did so on Aug. 7 against the Rockies. It’s now the 24th time it’s happened in MLB history (Baez was No. 23). The last player to do so who wasn’t a Cubs rookie was the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, who hit two homers in his second game.

Baez delivered his double with two on and nobody out in the eighth, lining a 2-2 pitch from Neshek into the gap in left-center. Neshek served up four runs in two-thirds of an inning. He had given up five runs over 55 1/3 innings this season.

“I think that’s my greatest at-bat since I came up,” Baez said. “Hopefully I keep doing it to get better.”

Kyle Hendricks was vying to become the first Cubs rookie pitcher to win five games in August, but instead did not get a decision. He did post his fifth quality start in six outings this month, and closed the month 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA. Hendricks had to work against the Cardinals, who took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta. Hendricks needed 26 pitches that inning, and then settled into a groove where he retired 16 of the next 17 batters he faced.

“There are some innings, you go out there and make pitches and give up runs, and you can live with that,” Hendricks said. “The first inning, I wasn’t throwing any pitches with conviction.”

He talked to Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio after the first, and, with a better mindset, went to work.

“It’s not just picking the right pitch in the right situation, it’s picking a pitch and throwing it to the glove,” he said. “The first inning I really wasn’t doing that and was just lobbing it over.”

Luis Valbuena hit a solo home run in the second and rookie Arismendy Alcantara added a solo shot in the ninth. The Cubs now have 34 home runs this month, most in the National League.

– Carrie Muskat

8/18 Cubs 4, Mets 1

* Kyle Hendricks posted his sixth straight quality start Monday, leading the Cubs to a 4-1 win over the Mets. He gave up one run over seven innings. He’s the first Cubs rookie to have six straight QS since Kerry Wood put together two seven-game streaks in 1998. Hendricks has a 5-1 record and 1.05 ERA in his last six games.

* Javier Baez hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot into the upper deck, in the ninth. He has tied Kevin Roberson (1993) and Carmelo Martinez (1983) as Cubs with five home runs in their first 14 games.

* Anthony Rizzo hit his 28th home run in the eighth inning. It’s his third in his last seven games. He trails the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, who has 32 homers.

* With the win, the Cubs now have won more games in August than they did last year, when they were 8-20 in August 2013.

* Matt Szczur made his first Major League start in left field, subbing for Chris Coghlan, who has been battling a sore left big toe.

8/15 Scouting report

Mets manager Terry Collins saw Javier Baez during the Cubs exhibition games in Las Vegas this spring. Collins was impressed.

“Big-time power,” Collins said of Baez. “Big, big-time power. Real aggressive at the plate. Right now, probably the wisest thing is to keep the ball out of the middle because he’s got four homers in nine games, and it shows you what kind of power he’s got, and we saw that out there [in Las Vegas]. So you have to make sure you make some pitches against him.”

Collins, meeting with the New York media before Friday’s game, said the Cubs’ youngsters are very athletic.

“You look at them, start with [Junior] Lake,” Collins said. “We haven’t seen a lot of Baez except for seeing him play the infield. We know he can hit. [Arismendy] Alcantara, this guy was an infielder, they put him in center field — you talk about being athletic. He’s got a plus-arm, they stuck him in center field, he’s a switch-hitter. They’re really athletic. And I really believe that’s how you re-tool. You take those guys that are a little bit versatile and can do a lot of things for you — can run, can throw. The hitting, the hitting for power is all part of the experience side. We were just commenting today when we were going over the video of some of those guys, and boy, they’ve got some athletic people coming up.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/13 Cubs 4, Brewers 2

* Starlin Castro went 3-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games. He and the Braves’ Freddie Freeman are the only two players in the National League with 15 three-hit games. Castro’s 135 hits are tops among NL shortstops.

* Anthony Rizzo hit his second home run in as many games in the third. It’s the sixth time this season in which he’s homered in consecutive games (most previously done, July 20-22 at Arizona and vs. San Diego).

* The Javier Baez and Rizzo hit back to back homers in the third, the fifth time the Cubs have done that this year.

* Tsuyoshi Wada earned his second consecutive win, throwing 6 2/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball. He walked one and struck out five. He is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts.

* Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 2.09 ERA in their last seven games and recorded quality starts in each game.

* Chris Coghlan posted his third game with three or more hits. He batted .202 average in his first 44 games of the season, and now is batting .366 (48-for-131) with 16 doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI in his last 38 contests since June 30.

* Javier Baez hit his first-career homer at Wrigley Field, a solo shot onto Waveland Avenue in the third inning. Baez has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 10-for-31 (.323) during the stretch.

8/13 Back to back

Javier Baez hit his first home run at Wrigley Field leading off the third inning Wednesday night. He launched a 1-1 pitch from Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse over the left field bleachers and onto Waveland Avenue. Anthony Rizzo followed with his 27th blast of the season, and second in as many games. His homer went to right field. It’s the fifth time this season the Cubs have hit back to back homers, and first time Baez and Rizzo have done so.

– Carrie Muskat

8/11 Catch of the year

Mike Pullin of Rochelle, Ill., came to Wrigley Field on Monday night because he wanted to see the Cubs’ Javy Baez play, and the 65-year-old retiree may have made the web gem of the season.

Pullin, 65, was sitting in the last row of the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field when the Brewers’ Mark Reynolds launched a pitch from Jake Arrieta for his 20th home run in the second inning. Pullin, who brought his glove, caught the ball and avoided falling over the railing. He followed Wrigley tradition, and threw a ball back onto the field, but it wasn’t the game ball. Instead, he threw a ball that he had brought which his dog liked to play with.

“I saw the ball coming and it’s a pretty easy catch for me,” said Pullin, who played softball for 31 years, starring at first base and in left field.

He had watched a replay of his catch on his phone.

“It looks good on TV,” Pullin said. “It’s a good time, and a good reaction from the crowd.”

Pullin said he likes sitting in the last row of the bleachers for the back support, and just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

– Carrie Muskat

8/9 Rays 4, Cubs 3 (10 innings)

Tsuyoshi Wada gave up two runs on four hits and one walk over six plus innings, striking out six, in the 4-3, 10-inning loss on Friday at Wrigley Field. Wada is holding left-handers to a .130 batting average (3-for-23) with one walk and seven strikeouts. He retired 12 in a row at one point.

* Anthony Rizzo extended his Wrigley Field hitting streak to six games with a double off the right field wall in the first inning. His .315 mark (62-for-197) at Wrigley this season is 63 points higher than his .252 average from a year ago.

* In his first-career at-bat at Wrigley Field, Javier Baez singled to left. He is 4-for-9 in his last two games after going 1-for-10 in his first two.

* Starlin Castro hit a RBI single in the first. He’s hit safely in seven-straight games (.414/12-for-29).

* Arismendy Alcantara has hit safely in six straight home games.

* The Cubs are 5-7 in 12 Interleague games this season.

8/8 Extra bases: Baez

Javier Baez has hit three home runs in his first three career big league games, including a multi-homer effort Thursday in Colorado. At 21 years, 249 days old, Baez became the youngest Cub to hit two homers in a game since Danny Murphy did so, Sept. 27, 1961, vs. St. Louis. Murphy was 19 years, 35 days old when he turned the trick.

* Baez is the first Cub to hit three homers within his first three career games.

* Baez on Tuesday became the first player in franchise history to hit an extra-inning home run in his big league debut and the first player in the majors to hit a go-ahead homer in the 12th inning or later since Minnesota’s Kent Hrbek on August 24, 1981 at Yankee Stadium.

* Additionally, Baez became the fourth Major League player to hit a go-ahead home run in extra innings in his big league debut, joining Florida’s Miguel Cabrera (2003), Hrbek and California’s Billy Parker (1971).

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