Javier Baez enjoys another memorable night in the Cubs win over the Dodgers
LOS ANGELES – Six days earlier, he had a game that could enter consideration for game of the year. Three extra base hits and a couple of nice defensive plays helped the Cubs to a 4-0 victory over the Dodgers.
But this is Javier Baez. When the show goes on, it only gets better.
Facing the same team on Tuesday night about 3,000 miles, Baez topped his outstanding game from the previous week by bashing a pair of homers – including a Grand Slam – along with a double and a single in a 9-4 Cubs victory at Dodger Stadium.
The performances by Baez were on the outside of an ugly five-game losing streak for the Cubs that knocked them a few games from the top NL Central. It also adds to the outstanding fifth season for the infielder, who now has 16 homers on the year and 56 RBIs, and his 4-for-5 on the evening will add to the .276 average he entered the game with on Tuesday.
What’s odd is that it took the show a while to get started, not that Javi didn’t try.
He had a double in the first inning that put a runner on third but the Cubs couldn’t get anything across. Once again, the Cubs could do nothing with a Baez single in the third, so he took matters into his own hands in the fifth. His solo homer tied the game at 1 going into the fifth and gave him his 17th long ball of the season.
After Los Angeles took the lead back in the bottom half, Baez put it away in the sixth in an exciting cap to a big Cubs’ inning. An infield single by Addison Russell and a single by Ben Zobrist brought in a pair of runs to give the Cubs the lead, and Jason Heyward’s walk brought Baez to the plate with the bases load.
He wouldn’t miss his chance, taking a Edward Paredes pitch into the left field seats for the Grand Slam to make it 7-2. He would miss his chance for the cycle in the 8th, but the Cubs had the game well in hand and added two more runs to finish off their strong offensive effort.
Meanwhile Jon Lester picked up his 10th win of the year in a five inning effort in which he allowed just the two runs while striking out four compared to one walk.
But he did take a back seat to the showman of the evening – and what a performance it was.