Results tagged ‘ Javier Baez ’

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

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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

8/5 Expect some growing pains with Baez

Javier Baez now has 51 games in the big leagues to show what he can do, and the Cubs fully expect some growing pains. Baez was promoted on Tuesday, and made his first Major League start at second against the Rockies. Theo Epstein said they decided it was time because Baez had fulfilled several items on the check list.

“Javy has made a lot of strides in areas that we’ve emphasized for his development,” Epstein said. “He’s doing a much better job of making the pitcher work, swinging at strikes, looking for a pitch he can drive.”

Baez’s strikeout totals have decreased each month at Triple-A Iowa, and he’s developed a better approach at the plate. Baez has about 450 plate appearances at Iowa, which was enough of a sample size.

The infielder also has a history of struggling when he first gets to a level, and then making the necessary adjustments. He’ll be in the lineup nearly every day to get started on the next phase of his development.

“We all know it can be very difficult to make in-season adjustments as a big leaguer,” Epstein said, citing struggles by Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo last year. “This timing allows Javy to go play for eight weeks, and then take a deep breath this winter. He can take a fresh look at his performance in the big leagues and take it all in and start to make any adjustments if necessary.”

Baez got off to a slow start at Iowa, batting .172 in April. After work with Iowa hitting coach Brian Harper, and talking to other players plus player/coach Manny Ramirez, Baez hit .275 in June, and then got hot in July, batting .300. For the season, he was hitting .260 at Iowa with 24 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs and 80 RBIs in 104 games.

He took early batting practice at Coors Field, and felt right at home.

“I like how the ball flies here and everything you hit in the air is gone,” he said.

Starlin Castro is set at shortstop, but Baez has made the transition to second, playing there more since the All-Star break. The plan is to have him at second and rookie Arismendy Alcantara in center field for the majority of games.

“The first two games, it was weird,” Baez said. “I was seeing everything backwards. By the third game, I was kind of getting it. Now it’s like normal.”

– Carrie Muskat

8/5 Cubs lineup

Javier Baez is playing second base and batting second Tuesday night for the Cubs, making his Major League debut at Coors Field. He’ll be wearing No. 9. Here’s the lineup:

Alcantara CF
Baez 2B
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Ruggiano RF
Valbuena 3B
Castillo C
Lake LF
T. Wood P

8/4 Minor matters – Sunday’s games

Javier Baez hit two home runs but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 7-5, to Omaha, and fell out of first place. Dae-Eun Rhee gave up seven runs over five innings. After hitting 11 home runs in 72 games in April, May and June, Baez has 12 homers in 32 games in July and August. Josh Vitters had three hits.

Pierce Johnson threw six shutout innings in Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Pensacola. Johnson struck out six and walked one. He gave up two hits. Addison Russell backed him with a two-run homer in the eighth. Russell was batting .293. Lars Anderson drove in two runs.

Daytona’s game at Charlotte was suspended because of rain. The two teams were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Monday.

Cael Brockmeyer hit his fifth home run to help Kane County beat Quad Cities, 9-5. Dan Lockhart and Chesny Young each had three hits. Daury Torrez gave up three runs over six innings.

David Bote had two hits, including a solo home run in the third, in Boise’s 3-2 win over Vancouver. Rashad Crawford had two hits, and stole a base. Trevor Clifton got the win, throwing five shutout innings.

Mesa’s game against the Athletics was postponed because of rain.

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