It would have been very easy for Javy Báez to go up there in the 8th inning of a blowout, looking to pad his stats against position player Luis Guillorme, who was pitching for the Mets. Báez is in a walk year, and the deterioration in his offensive performance is getting headlines everywhere. No one would have blamed him for just wanting to rip the ball when he was getting a free chance.
But that’s not Javy Báez. That’s not El Mago.
Having already hit a grand slam in the game, Báez decided to do what he does best out there: have some fun. So for the third time in his career, the naturally-ambidextrous Báez headed to the left side of the plate, where he crushes the ball in batting practice (and where he doubled the last time he did it!).
And Báez *almost* sent it out the other way:
It wasn’t absolutely crushed, but that was 92 mph off the bat and 329 feet out to left center, where it’s a particularly short porch at Wrigley Field. A millimeter more on the barrel or a single additional twitched fiber of speed or an extra bowl of Wheaties in the morning, and that ball was gone.
Bryan was lucky enough to have walked up to Wrigley earlier in the game, and got this view from in the park:
Been a LONG time since I could say this: saw the bottom 5th dragging a bit tonight and decided I’d probably be able to get up to Wrigley quick and get the last 3 from inside. This justified the steps. pic.twitter.com/z8eoB30vN9
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) April 22, 2021
That’s pretty dang fun, Bryan. Glad you got to see that.
If you want to compare the swings, enjoy:
— MLB (@MLB) April 22, 2021