A Baez Blast Beats the Rockies in Extra Innings – Cubs 6, Rockies 5

Game One Hundred Eleven: Cubs 6, Rockies 5 – 12 innings

WP – Hector Rondon (3-3, BS 4) LP – Boone Logan (2-2) Save – Carlos Villanueva (2)

wflag-pub2014Welcome to the Big Leagues Javier BaezJavier Baez led off the top of the 12th with the game tied at five in search of his first hit in his Major League debut. Baez crushed the first pitch from Boone Logan over the wall in right center. The ball traveled an estimated 414 feet and ended up being the game winner as the Cubs outlasted the Rockies Tuesday night at Coors Field.

Javier Baez (1-for-6 with a home run) had a night he will never forget. Baez just missed an extra basehit to right center with the bases loaded in the seventh when he lined out to Brandon Barnes and was hitless in five at bats prior to the 12th inning with three strikeouts. Baez showed off the power to the opposite field twice Tuesday night, and the second one left the park.

Javier Baez was solid in the field and in the middle of two double plays (Castro-to-Baez-to-Rizzo) but he misplayed a ball in the 11th that allowed the tying run to reach base and Jason Pridie eventually scored to send the game to the 12th inning.

The Cubs played extra innings for the fourth time in the last week and improved to 6-8 in 14 extra innings games this season.

Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and two walks) drove in two runs Tuesday night. Castillo put the Cubs on the board with a solo home run in the sixth, his eighth longball of the season, and a bases loaded walk in the seventh.

The Cubs scored three runs in the seventh on six walks, and a sac fly by Chris Valaika, but not a single hit. Chris Coghlan pinch-hit for Junior Lake and worked a walk that forced in Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) with the tying run and Chris Valaika gave the Cubs a short-lived lead with a sac fly hitting for Travis Wood.

The Cubs had plenty of chances late in the game to push across runs and Ryan Sweeney (1-for-1 with a walk and a RBI) finally did with a bloop single in the 11th that plated Castro with the go ahead run at the time.

The Cubs managed only eight hits Tuesday, but walked nine times and six of those free passes were in the seventh inning.

Like his previous start, Travis Wood struggled with his command early in the game and allowed the Rockies to put runs on the board. Wood gave up two runs in the second inning before he settled down in the third and retired the side in order on five pitches. Wood issued a leadoff walk to D.J. LeMahieu in the fifth that cost him another run and Wood did not record his first strikeout until the sixth inning. Wood recorded a quality start and was in line for the win after the Cubs scored three runs in the seventh and took the lead.

PrintTravis Wood allowed three runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Wood threw 74 pitches, 43 for strikes, in six innings.

Wesley Wright served up a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to Nolan Arenado that tied the game at four. And that was the only blemish on the pen until the 11th inning. Justin Grimm, Pedro Stop, and Brian Schlitter bent a little Tuesday night, but did not allow the Rockies to score.

Hector Rondon gave up the tying run in the 11th and for the fourth time this season he was charged with a blown save. Rondon quit attacking the hitters after the tying run reached base and it hurt him once again. Carlos Villanueva picked up the save with two strikeouts in the 12th inning.

Brett Anderson left the game in the in the fourth inning after throwing one pitch to Arismendy Alcantara with lower back spasms.

With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 48-63 on the season.

Drew Stubbs led off the second inning of a scoreless game with single to center (2-0 pitch). Wilin Rosario pulled a 1-0 pitch into left. With runners on first and second with no outs, Brandon Barnes pulled a 1-1 pitch down the third baseline. Luis Valbuena thought it was a foul ball and did not try to make a play. Lake retrieved the ball and the Cubs threw out Barnes at third trying to stretch a double into a triple. Stubbs and Rosario scored, 2-0 Rockies. LeMahieu flied out to right. Brett Anderson ripped a double into right but was stranded when Blackmon flied out to right to end the inning. Wood threw 26 pitches, 14 for strikes, over the first two innings.

At the end of two innings, the Cubs trailed 2-0.

Travis Wood settled down after the second inning. Wood set down the Rockies in order on five pitches in the third inning (31 pitches, 23 for strikes) and put together a 1-2-3 fourth inning while the offense was trying to put the ball in play against Brett Anderson and Franklin Morales.

The Cubs managed just one hit in the first five innings and Wood took the hill for the fifth still trailing 2-0. Wood walked D.J. LeMahieu to start the inning. Franklin Morales bunted LeMahieu to second. Wood made a good pitch, jammed Blackmon and he popped out to Valbuena for the second out. But Wood could not retire Josh Rutledge. Rutledge singled to center on a 1-2 pitch, LeMahieu scored and the Rockies went up 3-0. Nolan Arenado singled to left. With runners on first and second with two outs, Justin Morneau grounded out to Castro to end the inning.

The Cubs were being shutout 3-0 after five innings.

Welington Castillo led off the sixth with a booming homer to left, the Cubs second hit of the night. Castillo’s eighth longball of the season made it a 3-1 game. Junior Lake followed with a single to center on a 2-2 pitch. But the Cubs gave up an out when Wood bunted Lake to second base. Alcantara and Baez struck out swinging to end the inning.

Travis Wood wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth and kept the Rockies from tacking on to their lead. Stubbs led off with a single to left. Wood walked Rosario and the Rockies had two on with no outs for Brandon Barnes. Walt Weiss decided to give the Cubs an out and had Barnes bunt. Wood picked up the attempted sacrifice and threw out Stubbs at third base. With runners on first and second with one out, a wild pitch with LeMahieu allowed the runners to move up ninety feet. Renteria pulled his infield in and Wood struck out LeMahieu swinging for the second out. Weiss sent up Corey Dickerson to hit for Morales … and Wood struck him out swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning.

After six innings, the Rockies led 3-1.

Tommy Kahnle replaced Morales for the seventh inning and issued back-to-back walks to Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to start the inning. Ruggiano could not check his swing on a 1-2 pitch. Luis Valbuena walked to load the bases with one out for Welington Castillo. Weiss decided that was enough for Kahnle and went to his pen for Nick Masset.

Welington Castillo worked a full count before Masset uncorked a wild pitch for ball four. Rizzo trotted in and cut the Rockies lead to 3-2. Rick Renteria sent up Chris Coghlan to hit for Junior Lake and Weiss countered with lefty Rex Brothers. Coghlan walked and forced with Castro with the tying run. Ryan Sweeney ran for Coghlan at first base. With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Valaika hit for Wood and lined Brothers’ first pitch into left. Blackmon caught the ball, Valbuena tagged and scored … 4-3 Cubs. Alcantara walked to reload the bases. Weiss wen to his pen again and summoned Matt Belisle to face Baez with the bases loaded and two down. Javier Baez drove a 1-1 pitch out to right that Barnes caught running away to end the inning.

Wesley Wright made his way to the mound for the seventh inning with the Cubs up 4-3. Wright retired Blackmon and Rutledge for the first two outs. Nolan Arenado pulled Wright’s first pitch into the stands in left … and just like that the game was tied at four. Justin Morneau popped out to Castro for the third out.

After seven complete, the game was tied at four.

And that is where the score stood until the 11th inning. Adam Ottavino started the inning after striking out the side in order in the tenth. Starlin Castro just missed a home run and settled for a double off the top of the wall in left. Ruggiano grounded out to third. Valbuena and Castillo walked to load the bases for Ryan Sweeney. Walt Weiss made the slow walk, again, and went to his pen, again, for Boone Logan. Sweeney got just enough of a 0-1 pitch to bloop it over LeMahieu and into right field. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 5-4 lead. With the bases loaded and one out, John Baker hit for Brian Schlitter and was caught looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Alcantara tapped a 1-1 pitch back to Logan to end the inning.

Hector Rondon took the hill for the bottom of the 11th with the Cubs up 5-4. LeMahieu popped a 3-2 pitch into center for the first out. Jason Pridie reached on an infield single to second. Baez charged the short-hop, the ball hit off the heel of his glove and Pridie was given an infield single. Charlie Blackmon singled to right and put runners on first and second with one out. Rondon struck out Josh Rutledge swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Rondon could not put away Charlie Culberson and he singled to right on a 3-2 pitch, Pridie scored and tied the game at five. With runners on the corners and two out, Rondon struck out Morneau swinging (0-2 pitch) to end the inning.

The game went to the 12th inning tied at five.

Boone Logan started the 12th and Javier Baez smoked his first pitch over the wall in right center. Baez’s first big league hit and home run gave the Cubs a 6-5 lead. After Rizzo grounded out to second, Starlin Castro singled to center. But Justin Ruggiano grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.


Rick Renteria turned to Carlos Villanueva to close out Tuesday’s game. Villanueva gave up a one out single to Wilin Rosario, but caught Michael McKenry looking at a 1-2 pitch and retired D.J. LeMahieu on a grounder to the hole at short that Castro fielded and flipped to Baez to end the game.

Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Jordan Lyles in game two at Coors Field on Wednesday night (7:40pm CDT).

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  • triple

    Wow! Even while going 1 for 6, what a great debut for Baez. And it’s just crazy to actually see that there are 2 more guys knocking on the door right behind him!

    Soler goes 3 for 5 with a double and his 4th AAA HR

    Bryant is on a 9-game hitting streak, batting .400 with 8BB and 9K over the streak, and his BA w/ RISP is now over the Mendoza line.

    Can’t help but notice that Dan Straily has won 2 games in a row now, and with a very nice stat line last night: 7IP, 6H, 2R, 0ER, 0BB, 9K

    Impatiently waiting for Doubront and Straily to make their Cub debuts.

    • Eugene Debs

      Who would you replace in the starting five? Ideally, Jackson either slides to the pen, gets a faux injury, or finds a new home. Do those guys beat out Wada? Tough call.

      Let’s face it, though. Wood and Jackson have been the weak links in the rotation.

      • J Daniel

        Never have enough starters that can get the job done. No problem starting to replace some of these guys either.

        • BigJonLilJon

          And Jacob Turner is available after being waived by Miami. Former top 20 prospect in all of baseball and still very young. Out of minor options, so would have to be on roster, but a cheap and young prospect for Bosio to do his thing with.

          • Jeff Wilson

            I see that, wonder if the front office is on the phones today?!

      • Tony_H

        EJAX is the obvious first one, I think they just shut him down at some point. At the point that both would be ready, I say go 6 man rotation to finish up the year.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I’d replace Wood and EJax at this point. To me Wada has earned more starts.

          • Tony_H

            I wasn’t removing Wada.

      • triple

        I’m gonna guess that even if EJax clears waivers, that there is no team willing to trade for him. So we are kind of stuck with him, unless he is DFA’d, which I don’t think they’d do till next year after the trade deadline. Like Tony says, a 6-man rotation would work to give these guys the best shot. Since we’d still have Ejax and Wood on the 25-man roster, maybe they can be swapped in and out of said 6-man rotation and used in the pen while they are the guy being skipped? This could also allow both Wood and Jackson enough time doing sidework with Bosio that maybe some good comes out of it. Ejax is just terrible, but at his cost, you gotta hope we just get one good year out of him, and maybe that’s next year? Eugene, your questions to me are beginning to seem more like a riddle than just regular questions!

        • Tony_H

          After Sept 1 is when Straily and Doubront will come up and the there is no more 25 man roster. They can just left EJAX sit on the bench, skip Wood whenever they want, etc.

          • triple

            Great point!

  • Eugene Debs

    How exciting is it going to be when 5 o 6 prospects are in the lineup?

    Great job, Baez and a nice “little streak” for the Cubs.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Would like to see Soler get up sooner than later. How many games out are we?! So you’re sayin there’s a chance ;)…..

      With Soler and Baez we could win a lot in the next month and a half.

      • Bredboy

        I always appreciate a good Lloyd Christmas quote!

  • JasonPen

    I’m so mad at myself for turning off the game and going to bed when the Rockies tied it in the bottom of the 11th.

    • Jeff Wilson

      I fell asleep in the 10th, but woke to hear and watch the JBaez HR replay. Stayed up to watch the win, and of course, then I couldn’t fall back asleep! Going to be a long day at the office, better stop by Starbucks!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Video is a thing of beauty! 0-4, 3K’s…ding-dong! I’ll take him just how he is.

  • jtrain23

    I was anxious to see all that Javier Baez would be. I never imagined we would see all that he could be in just one short….err…..long game. On one hand, you have 0-5 with 3 k’s and an error on the field at a quite in opportune time. On the other hand, you have a smooth blast in the top of the 12th that ends up being the game winner.

    What will frustrate us about him is that he often comes to the plate hacking no matter what the situation is. He will be the guy that comes to the plate with a guy at 3rd and 1 out. The announcers will say “you just gotta put something in play here”. Then he’ll strike out wildly on a eye high fast ball or a bounce it in slider.

    What we will celebrate about him is that he is going to get locked in and everything he sees will leave the box like a bullet. Even his outs will cause excitement and his sheer athleticism will amaze us.

    The good thing is that he appears to have the confidence to overcome bad at bats, as evident by last night. I think we will see many more great than head scratcher moments from him and one thing we can guarantee is it will never be boring when it comes to Javier Baez.

    • BigJonLilJon

      Translation – Soriano Jr

      • jtrain23

        There are definitely some similarities. Some people would cringe at the thought of that. I think Soriano is often over criticized, however.

        If Baez can be the type of player Soriano was, especially early in his career, I would be happy. Plus, his build seems to be a bit “sturdier” than Soriano, for lack of a better term. I think that could lead to him staying healthier and not having his legs limit all of his tools like what happened to Soriano eventually.

        Soriano stole no less than 18 bags and as many as 43 in his first 8 years. He always hit 20-something HR/year with 30-40 many years. We’ll just leave the strikeout rates out of the conversation because we all know. I would take that for Baez over the next several years.

        • triple

          Totally.. and remember that Fonzi stayed completely healthy and productive through his 20’s. That is why it could be really nice if Baez pans out, and looks to be an all-star. If the Cubs sign him to a fair for both parties contract that adds just 1 or 2 years of control (through his age 30 season), that would be the best way to maximize all his talent and have him all the way through the peak of his career.

          • jtrain23

            Agreed, and to clear it up, I am not calling him the next Soriano. I try to keep away from doing things like that and I hate when the sports talk guys do that. I feel like it can put too much pressure or too low of a ceiling on a guy.

            Every player needs to be their own guy, you know? But, if he was as productive as “20’s Soriano” was, then I sure wouldn’t complain.

          • triple

            I understood exactly what you were saying, and not inferring that he’s the next Soriano.

          • jtrain23

            Not that there’s anything wrong with that..lol. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the reference.