Chicago Cubs player Javier Baez just pulled off one of the wildest plays in Major League Baseball history on Thursday. In the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baez hit a ground ball to third base but turned it into an RBI double.
As he was running the first base, the Pirates first baseman decided to try to tag Baez out instead of stepping on the bag. The first baseman, Will Craig, starting chasing Baez to home plate, which then led to Cubs' Wilson Contreras scoring from second base. After the Pirates missed tagging Contreras, Baez stars running to first base, and the Pirates catcher, Michael Perez threw the ball to right field. Baez then heads to second base as the Cubs players in the dugout were going wild while the Pirates fans are booing the effort. When it was all said and done, the play was ruled a fielders choice and a throwing error by the catcher.
The Pirates radio call is marvelous. pic.twitter.com/Kkptci0PWg— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 27, 2021
“Let's say I improvise,” Baez said after the game. “At the moment, I can react pretty fast to things like contact and stuff like that. But I'm pretty good at tagging and not letting people tag me." Cubs manager David Ross was really impressed with the way Baez was able to make something out of nothing.
“He has just this way about him that, whether you call it swag or baseball IQ or just - he plays a game like a kid,” Ross said. “I think that's why a lot of people fall in love with him.” The play is a reflection of how the Pirates 2021 season has been. They ended up losing to the Cubs 5-3 and are in last place in the NL Central.
“They say if you stay in the game long enough, you’ll see everything,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “I’ve never seen that before. That’s on me. We got to know [how to execute] that. I guarantee you’ll never see it again while I’m here.” With the win on Thursday, the Cubs are now tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central in the early stages of the season. The Cubs have been one of the top teams in baseball the last five years, winning the World Series in 2016 and reaching the playoffs five of the last six seasons.