J.D. Martinez Hits Pinch-Hit HR Off Chris Sale On First Pitch Since June and Other Highlights

Ichiro Suzuki remains just two hits shy of the heavily-sought after 3,000 hit club, but continues to fall short in his limited duty. Over the past three days, for example, he got three pinch hit opportunities against the Chicago Cubs, but failed to record a hit each time.

Although, to be fair, the first out was a screaming line drive down the right field line that was robbed by the first baseman and the third out, which came yesterday, was robbed by diving catch from shortstop Javy Baez. Ichiro will undoubtedly get there before the season is over, but I can’t wait for it to happen. Stop doing defense, Cubs.

Onto the highlights.

1. Holy cow, J.D. Martinez. You saw the title, so you know what this first highlight is all about. J.D. Martinez – on the disabled list since June 16 – was activated yesterday, but did not find himself in the starting lineup against the White Sox. After all, Martinez hadn’t faced big league pitching in nearly two months and Chris Sale was working for the Sox. But when James McCann was scheduled to lead off the eighth inning of a tie ball-game, Brad Ausmus elected to call upon his star outfielder so Martinez stepped up to the plate. Then, in the very first big league pitch he’s seen since the middle of June, J.D. Martinez crushed a go-ahead, game-winning, home run off of one of the best pitchers in the American League. Tigers win. Martinez is a hero. You honestly couldn’t write it up better than that.

Your browser does not support iframes.

2. Go away, Scott Schebler. By now, the Cardinals have got to be getting sick of Reds outfielder Scott Schebler. In case you missed it, Schebler just hit a walk-off, three-run home run out of the stadium, to give the Reds a ninth inning victory against the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Then, on Wednesday night, Schebler raced back to the right field wall, leaped, and robbed Jedd Gyroko of a home run in the top of the fifth inning. There are not many ways to become a home town hero, but walking off with a home run against a division rival the night before you rob a home run from a division rival is a great way to start.

Your browser does not support iframes.

3. How’d you do that, Tim Beckham? Yesterday, Tim Beckham made a pretty fantastic sliding catch into foul territory that I suspect was far more difficult than the video let on. If you can believe it, Beckham actually covered 70.4 feet (ranging to his left from first base) running at a max speed of 19.1 MPH. There usually isn’t that much room or time to get that up to that speed, but Beckham did something weird in this play. According to Statcast, Beckham had a first-step reaction time of -0.01 seconds, meaning that he started moving on that ball just before it was hit. Those instincts gave him the time to dial it up to 19+ MPH and the ability to cover all that ground. And then, of course, he made a fantastic sliding grab. This was just an unbelievable play.

Your browser does not support iframes.


Oh, and also from Last Night:

  • Albert Pujols still has it, hits a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Kevin Pillar dives in center field for the out
  • Jose Iglesias makes diving stop, throws to first for the out
  • What you may have missed:

  • Scott Schebler crushes a homer out of the stadium, walks off against the Cardinals 
  • Last Night’s Highlights
  • written by

    Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

    more cubs news

    Ben Brown Has a “Stress Reaction” in His Neck

    [ankin_law] The Chicago Cubs today released a little more information the injury that put pitcher Ben Brown on the Injured List, and it's not good. It's also not entirely clear. From Craig Counsell: https://twitter.com/PJ_Mooney/status/1801655985250996310 https://twitter.com/ryan_a_herrera/status/1801654739538460988 Without playing pretend doctor too...

    The Chicago Cubs Have Signed Another – Yes Another – Minor League Pitcher

    Yup. Back again. The Cubs have signed another pitcher to a minor league deal, righty Lisandro Almonte, so we do this dance. The standard intro: The Chicago Cubs are seriously going off on the minor league pitching signings here after...

    Chicago Cubs Lineup: Mike Tauchman in Center Field

    CUBS LINEUP — Friday. 1:20. Cardinals. Wrigley Field. The Cubs are a mess right now, but that's a combination that still gets me excited. Here's a look at the Cubs lineup for Game 1 in Chicago. Chicago Cubs Lineup: Mike...

    Looking Back, the Cubs Kinda Crushed the 2014 MLB Draft

    A decade ago, the Chicago Cubs were just starting to lightly peek out from the weight of a deep rebuild, and the signs for coming success were apparent. I don't feel as confident now as I did then. Also a...

    I May Be Mad at the Cubs, But I Still Hate the Cardinals

    Cubs vs Cardinals — I don't know about you, but the Cubs are straight up ruining my summer with this low-scoring, bullpen-blowing nonsense. I may prefer the weather now, but I sure do miss March and April. The worst part...

    This Is the Worst Retelling of ‘Groundhog Day’ Ever and Other Cubs Bullets

    Let's play, Name That Game! First clue: The Cubs starting pitcher gave a great outing. Second clue: The offense scored only enough to create a tiny lead. Final clue: The bullpen blew the tiny lead. Answer … YOU ARE CORRECT!...

    Enhanced Box Score: Rays 3, Cubs 2 – June 13, 2024

    If I knew the Cubs were playing a re-run tonight, I wouldn't have tuned in. For the hundredth time this season, the Cubs got a really nice outing from their starter, Justin Steele (The Ankin Law “Making It Personal” Player...

    LOL: The Cubs Just Bunted *THREE TIMES IN A ROW* … And It Worked!

    The Cubs offense has been struggling to score runs lately. So naturally, the allure of small ball has reached the dugout. Last night, that meant stealing SIX bases. But tonight? Tonight, Craig Counsell had something sillier up his sleeve. In...

    How to Win FREE Rooftop Tickets to a Cubs Game with the Bleacher Nation Team and Howard Ankin!

    Back in 2021, when I was still living in the city up on the North Side of Chicago, I had a bike. And I liked to ride that bike south-east down Clybourn towards this little rock climbing gym in Lincoln...

    Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Rays (5:50 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    CUBS LINEUP — The only thing more consistent than the Cubs' issues closing games or getting hits with runners in scoring position? Rubber matches. Including this series, ELEVEN of the Cubs 15 three-game series this season have resulted in a...

    Latest News

    Mariners vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The Seattle Mariners (40-31) are -143 favorites for their Friday meeting with the Texas Rangers (33-35). The matchup between the first- and second-place teams in the AL West begins at 10:10 PM ET on Apple TV+.Seattle's Luis Castillo gets the...

    Dodgers vs. Royals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    Mookie Betts, batting .308 this season, leads the Los Angeles Dodgers (42-28) into a matchup with one of the league's other top hitters, Bobby Witt Jr. (.330 AVG) and the Kansas City Royals (40-30). Betts and the Dodgers are -161...

    Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (33-36) and Christian Walker (2 HR in his last game) are favored (-193) on the moneyline for their matchup with the Chicago White Sox (18-52) on Friday at 9:40 PM ET on NBCS-CHI.Ryne Nelson takes the mound...

    Giants vs. Angels Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The San Francisco Giants will take the field against the Los Angeles Angels (26-42) on Friday. The game begins at 10:15 PM ET on Apple TV+, with the Giants listed as -150 favorites on the moneyline.Los Angeles is projected to...

    Ben Brown Has a “Stress Reaction” in His Neck

    [ankin_law] The Chicago Cubs today released a little more information the injury that put pitcher Ben Brown on the Injured List, and it's not good. It's also not entirely clear. From Craig Counsell: https://twitter.com/PJ_Mooney/status/1801655985250996310 https://twitter.com/ryan_a_herrera/status/1801654739538460988 Without playing pretend doctor too...

    Friday’s WNBA Picks and Predictions – June 14

    In a Friday WNBA slate that includes two compelling contests, the Los Angeles Sparks versus the Minnesota Lynx is a game to see.Looking for the best bets for today's WNBA games? This article features computer picks for every matchup, so...

    Mariners vs. Rangers Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Seattle Mariners (40-31) and the Texas Rangers (33-35) square off at T-Mobile Park on Friday at 10:10 PM ET, starting a three-game series.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Mariners will send Luis Castillo (5-7) to the mound,...

    Dodgers vs. Royals Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Kansas City Royals (40-30) start a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (42-28) on Friday at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is at 10:10 PM.The Dodgers will give the nod to Gavin Stone (7-2) versus the Royals and Cole...

    Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Chicago White Sox (18-52) kick off a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (33-36) with a Friday matchup at Chase Field. First pitch is at 9:40 PM ET.The Diamondbacks will look to Ryne Nelson (3-5) against the White Sox...

    Giants vs. Angels Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Los Angeles Angels (26-42) open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants (34-35) with a Friday meeting at Oracle Park. First pitch is at 10:15 PM ET.The Angels will hand the ball to Tyler Anderson (5-6, 5.43), while...

    more cubs news