As last night’s game wore on, it became increasingly clear that neither starter, Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto, was going to suddenly have a rough inning. If they were going to yield any runs at all, it was going to have to come on a perfectly-timed extra-base hit.
The Giants almost got theirs relatively early, when an Angel Pagan lined slid under Ben Zobrist’s glove, but Buster Posey was not able to score from first base. That was the best chance the Giants had to score all night off of Jon Lester (they had another decent chance in the ninth inning off of Aroldis Chapman, with the tying run at second base and two outs).
For the Cubs, there were hardly any opportunities either, especially with Kelby Tomlinson busting out a gold glove at second base somehow. But sometimes it takes just one swing:
Off the bat, everyone – the fans at the park, the fans watching on TV, Javy Baez, and Johnny Cueto – thought that ball was long gone.
And, sure enough, Statcast had that ball a whopping 107.4 mph off the bat. The launch angle – 36 degrees – was high, to be sure, but on a typical day in a typical park, a ball hit that hard and high is long, long gone.
Wrigley Field is an odd bird, and because Baez had hit the ball so high into the teeth of a strong cross wind, it almost didn’t get out at all. But Wrigley Field is an odder bird, and the ball landed in the basket lining the outfield. Giants outfielder Angel Pagan thought he was about to make a catch. Then the ball just hung up there.
Baez enjoyed his moment:
Basket of joy. https://t.co/KnsvU3rqND
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 8, 2016