Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

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).

8/7 Javy and friends


8/6 Extra bases

* Cubs manager Rick Renteria was asked what he expects of Javier Baez, who was starting at second on Wednesday in the second game of his Major League life.

“In terms of the results, what I expect is that he’ll go out there and grind out some at-bats,” Renteria said. “His skill set is bat speed and power, and that would indicate if he squares up a ball, he’ll have a chance to hit it out of the ballpark. My expectations of him is to be here to learn, to grind out at-bats, to experience the opposition’s ability to work him, for him to get a feel to play second base alongside Starlin [Castro] and [Anthony Rizzo] on that side, and to continue to learn the game. He’s a young man and he’s a baseball player. Once you get here, a lot of different things can happen. We want him to continue to be a sponge and keep learning and moving forward.”

The Cubs are keeping expectations in check regarding the talented infielder.

“It’s 60 feet, 6 inches in Triple-A, A ball, Double-A, rookie ball, and 60 feet, 60 inches in the big leagues,” Renteria said. “It’s just a matter of still keeping it simple and learns, just learn.”

* Arismendy Alcantara was not in the leadoff spot on Wednesday.

“We want to try to take away a little bit of the pressure,” Renteria said. “He still looks calm but the results haven’t been what he wants. Seeing how guys work ahead of him might give him a different perspective, a different view.”

* Kyuji Fujikawa will be eased into game situations. This is the last year of his two-year deal with the Cubs, who have an option for 2015. Fujikawa said he hasn’t thought about next year, and is focused on getting back on the mound now.

– Carrie Muskat

8/5 Baez goes boom

* Did you stay awake long enough to see Javy Baez’s first big league home run? Baez delivered in the 12th inning Tuesday to give the Cubs a 6-5 win over the Rockies. It was his first big league hit, home run and RBI. He connected off Boone Logan, who Baez had faced recently in a Minor League game when the Rockies pitcher was making a rehab outing. Then, Logan threw curveballs. On Tuesday, he threw a first-pitch fastball, and Baez hit it 414 feet to right center.

* This is the fourth time in MLB history that a player has hit a go-ahead or game-winning home run in extra innings in his Major League debut.

Billy Parker, Angels, 1971
Kent Hrbek, Twins, 1981
Miguel Cabrera, Marlins, 2003
Javier Baez, Cubs, 2014

* Baez is the youngest player in the National League at 21 years. (Rangers’ Odor is youngest)

* Baez is the 12th Cubs player since 1914 to homer in his debut and the only one of the 12 to deliver that home run in extra innings.

Was Baez nervous?

“Not really,” he said. “I took it like a Spring Training game with a lot of fans and a lot of people.”

Promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Monday, Baez was 0-for-5 before the blast and had struck out three times. But he connected in the 12th, for his 24th home run of the season after hitting 23 at Iowa.

“He had a few strikeouts, but it wasn’t for anxiousness,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He got the first pitch he could hit and drove it out of the ballpark.

“He’s got a very powerful swing, obviously,” Renteria said. “For the first game, I’m sure he got it under his belt now, and he’ll see that, ‘Hey, I can do this.'”

– Carrie Muskat


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