Javier Baez Stayed Cool To Cap Cubs' Wild Comeback Win

Baez delivered the tying three-run double as the Cubs rallied from down eight runs.

Chris Emma
April 14, 2018 - 6:42 pm
Cubs infielder Javier Baez

Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports


By Chris Emma--

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Those brave enough to withstand a cold, blustery day at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon stood with belief as the Cubs mounted an unlikely comeback.

They chanted as Javier Baez stepped to the plate with the Cubs down 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth, slowly working their way back from down eight: Ja-vy! Ja-vy! The bases were loaded, two men were out and Baez represented the Cubs' chance at a rally.

What unfolded from there was something the Cubs have hoped to see from Baez, who worked the count full before ripping the game-tying three-run double. The Cubs went from trailing 10-2 to all tied up and ultimately winning 14-10 over the Braves.

"We never gave up," Baez said after the weird, wild win.

Manager Joe Maddon had told first baseman Efren Navarro he would pitch the ninth inning if the Cubs continued playing from well behind. The bullpen was taxed after left-hander Jose Quintana went just 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs and digging a large hole.

Despite playing through what Maddon called the worst baseball conditions he has ever experienced, the Cubs didn't pack up and call it a Saturday. They continued to battle, setting up a bizarre eighth inning in which they scored nine runs on just three hits.

A Cubs team that has scuffled early on this season was "fortunate" Saturday, as Maddon put it. The eighth-inning comeback was capped by two runs scoring on a wild pitch and an error by the Braves. But it was Baez, a man under the microscope these days, who delivered for the Cubs.

Forget the mentions from the Pirates and beyond about how Baez plays the game -- the greatest difference the Cubs want to see is what they saw Saturday. Baez's at-bat may have been a three-pitch strikeout in years past, with wild swings that topple him to the ground. Those are still a part of his game, as made evident this week. But so, too, is the ability to stay composed with the game on the line.

"I didn't try to do too much," Baez said.

The Cubs want to see more of that from Baez, staying patient at the plate, working the count, waiting for his pitch and then coming through in the clutch. The most electrifying baseball player in Chicago has delivered many moments like this before, but the manner in which he came through was notable.

Baez slowed the moment down and the diehards who remained at Wrigley Field went home happy.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.