The Cubs ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth inning today, when the Yankees’ Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge hit back to back singles to knock the Cubs’ starting pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, out of the game.
Brian Duensing came in for relief and did get a pop-fly to center field, but the wind blew it far away from Jon Jay and the bases were loaded.
So Chase Headley stepped up to the plate with Starlin Castro leading off third, and then this happened (you can watch the full MLB video here at MLB.com):
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) May 5, 2017
Jason Heyward caught a line drive in right field and nailed Starlin Castro at the plate – about a quarter of the way up the line, to boot.
The double play preserved the Cubs lead and got Duensing (and by extension, Hendricks) out of a tough jam. And, according to the FanGraphs win probability chart, that double play swung the Cubs’ odds of winning 19.2% points in the right direction.
Willson Contreras was hurt on the play, but eventually got up and back into the game (whew) – it also sparked this fantastic tweet from Carrie Muskat:
Contreras is staying in the game. He's a catcher. #Cubs
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 5, 2017
And by the way, that wasn’t even Heyward’s first excellent double play … out of right field … including Starlin Castro of the day!
Jason Heyward's sliding double play on Starlin Castro. Nice. pic.twitter.com/0x4FqvPkfh
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) May 5, 2017
It seems that there are still not enough ways to quantify Jason Heyward’s contributions to the Cubs. Even when he’s not hitting (which isn’t exactly the case right now, but that’s a story for another time), he’s adding a ton of value with his glove.