Baez Walking and Hitting, Lucky Lester, Chapped Dodgers, and Other Bullets

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Baez Walking and Hitting, Lucky Lester, Chapped Dodgers, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs winning that series against a very hot Dodgers team, when none of the games were started by Kyle Hendricks or Jose Quintana, and when they didn’t have their two best relievers available … man, that’s a really good series win. I’m gonna let that linger with me a bit today.

And to think, it started with a really bad, blown loss in the first game! You never could have convinced me in that moment that I was going to wind up very happy about the series just a day later.

  • It may have annoyed certain Los Angeles media types, but the crowd was chanting Ja-vy, Ja-vy for a reason yesterday. The dude was killing it in the field, and at the plate, and on the bases. After a fairly deep slump (from which I’m not necessarily pronouncing him emerged quite yet), Baez has his line back up to .266/.305/.532, with a 117 wRC+. He’s gone .417/.517/.625 the last 10 days, which has included a 13.8% walk rate (LOL). Sure, some of that is intentional, but still. It tickles me. It’s also a reminder if the kind of thing Joe Maddon says: if you’re walking, you’re hitting.
  • We’re not used to Cubs starters going well over 100 pitches this year, but Jon Lester wound up going 119 yesterday. I enjoyed this line from Joe Maddon at Cubs.com, about Lester going out for the 7th inning despite already being at 109 after six: “After the sixth inning, he said, ‘I need to go out there for one more.’ I said, ‘You’re absolutely right,'” Maddon said.
  • More on Lester’s start coming later, but here’s what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had to say about it: “Offensively, I thought it was one of our best offensive approaches in a game and Lester might have had a rabbit’s foot in his pocket because he didn’t have the command he normally has and we squared a lot of balls up.” He’s not wrong, but that’s what great defense and a pitcher with an understanding of the game can do for you sometimes.
  • Fun fact, though? Despite all that hard contact, Lester allowed just a .208 BABIP yesterday. Sure, that’s lucky. But it was his highest BABIP in a single start since the Pirates put up a .333 … four starts ago! Heck, his BABIP on the season is just .231. Yes, some of that is absolutely good luck. And yes, some of it is absolutely good defense. But could *some* of it be game planning and execution?
  • Jed Hoyer is hopeful that closer Brandon Morrow can return from the DL when he’s eligible next Wednesday (Cubs.com): “I don’t want to downplay it. He had back spasms. He had the same thing in Spring Training. We started treating it the same way we treated it in Spring Training, and I think he was out about a week, 10 days. If things go as we hope, it will be the kind of thing where he’d probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days are up. If he’s not going to be ready all weekend, we can backdate it three days, so it makes sense to put him on the DL. He understood that.”
  • The 2018 Cubs: That’s what we do, man.

  • Also: two days in a row, the Cubs completed a double play by catching a liner and then hitting a base with the glove (Rizzo, Baez). How often do you see that, let alone two days in a row?
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
  • I’m very glad this absurdly bad check swing call, which cost the Cubs a run, did not determine the game:

  • I think some of this was intended as a compliment, but it was poorly put, and then wound up getting into a bizarre criticism of Willson Contreras:

  • The Cubs put together an awesome surprise for Billy Williams’ birthday this week:

https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1009450806947536896



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.