Because the vagaries of West Coast games, publishing schedules, and optimum highlight distribution (apparently), I didn’t have a proper opportunity to show you – if you missed it, or just wanted to see it again – Javy Baez’s nightly fun defensive play from Monday’s series opener against the Padres, and, since I’m about to do it for last night’s game, I might as well slip this in here:



It has all the hallmarks of a Javy Baez defensive gem: (1) an incredibly difficult play, (2) featuring an unbelievable display of athletic ability, and (3) made to look questionably pedestrian. Which is to say, a dribbler in that spot, being charged that hard, barehanded, and then having to throw with that level of pace from that angle is so freaking hard to pull off, and yet Baez makes it look like he’s over there just playing checkers. I’m sure it’s not *actually* easy for him, but boy does it make it look that way.

That wasn’t the only fun Baez play from Monday’s game, though David Ross deserves credit for the throw on a delayed steal attempt. But it was Baez’s tag that gave us this forever-usable GIF:

Don’t you try and avoid my tag. (The Cubs sure do love them some (necessary) face tags.)



As for last night’s Cubs win, Baez was all over the place, this time at second base. The two most wow moments came on double plays, though.

First, Jake Arrieta induced a perfectly-placed groundball in the second inning to set up a double play, but Addison Russell’s toss to second base was low and off line. No problem for Javy Baez, who casually reached down and back with his bare hand, and completed the double play:

Next, in a situation where opposing pitcher Christian Friedrich would be bunting, the Cubs – who would normally have Anthony Rizzo charging like a freight train – changed things up, and had Baez charge hard from second base, with Rizzo staying back so the runner couldn’t get much of a lead off of first:

It was a brilliant maneuver, and even still, the Cubs had to execute every aspect perfectly and quickly to pull it off. Most of the credit goes to Baez, who snapped off a excellent, well-placed and well-paced throw to second base to even give the Cubs a chance (and then to Russell, who still got plenty on the return throw despite being flat-footed behind the base as the runner bore down).






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