CHICAGO – Time and time again over the past year, he’s found a way to put the Cubs in the win column and himself on the highlight reels.
Whether it’s an incredible play in the field, great slide, or an inside-the-park homer, Javier Baez finds a unique way to make a key play memorable since the 2016 playoffs.
Wednesday featured something new from Baez on a day in which the Cubs shortstop changed his look up just a bit.
A new look + steal of home= Yet another memorable evening for Cubs shortstop Javier Baez. pic.twitter.com/YKDSeY6WSu
— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) August 31, 2017
On his Facebook story on Wednesday night, Baez showed off his new braids that he sported for the first time as the Cubs faced the Pirates this week. The unique style would be a precursor to his evening ahead, one in which pulled off one of baseball’s most difficult feats.
If you zig, @javy23baez will zag.
… And maybe steal home. pic.twitter.com/jijXGi2aQP
— MLB (@MLB) August 31, 2017
With the Cubs trailing 2-1, Baez was on third with pitcher Jose Quintana at the plate. As he got ready to bunt, Baez took a big lead off third in anticipation of the “suicide squeeze” but ended up a bit stranded when the pitch wasn’t hit and ended up in the glove of Pittsburgh catcher Chris Stewart.
He saw Baez off the bag at third and decided to throw home. So the shortstop committed to home as the ball went the other way in the infield, allowing Baez to dash for the plate and slide home ahead of the throw for the rare steal of home.
The moment is one of the most popular in the majors in Wednesday’s action and allowed the Cubs to tie the game at 2. It opened up the floodgates as the Cubs scored 15 runs after that to crush the Pirates 17-3 and finish off a sweep of the three-game series.
As for Baez, he finished with a pair of his and RBIs on the night and scored three runs – with the first of those easily being the most memorable.