Every now and then baseball provides a reminder of why it is the greatest game of them all. And one of those moments came early Wednesday morning.
In the midst of another challenging season at the big league level and after six-plus hours of not-so-good baseball, the 16th inning of what was Tuesday’s game was incredibly fun to watch unfold. A back-up catcher that had not pitched since the Cape Cod League did not allow a hit in an inning of work, pumped his fist as he left the mound after his teammates turned an inning ending double play, then led off the home half of the inning as the remaining fans chanted his name, with a walk just to put himself in line to score the winning run.
John Baker became the first position player in Cubs history to win a regular season big league game … in the longest game in franchise history. And he reportedly received texts from several ex-teammates and Padres manager Bud Black afterwards congratulating him on picking up the win.
While the Cubs were busy with the Rockies and playing into the next day, baseball was focused on the upcoming trade deadline.
All eyes are on Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox. The Sox scratched Lester from his scheduled start on Wednesday and according to reports out of Boston, six teams are still in on Lester. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Blue Jays, Orioles and Athletics are in the mix for Lester.
Due to the connection with the front office and the need for pitching many feel the Cubs will be players for Jon Lester this off-season. Trading Lester will benefit the Cubs in the fact he will not have draft pick compensation tied to him … and landing with a team that might not be able to afford to sign him long term could also be a benefit. The Cubs have reportedly had internal discussions about Lester, so while the Cubs are not trading for Lester at this point, this story is worth following from a Cubs standpoint.
Javier Baez picked a new agent according to multiple reports Tuesday night, including one from Bruce Levine. Baez has chosen the Wasserman Group to represent him. The Wasserman Group, led by Adam Katz and Arn Tellem, also reps Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and Giancarlo Stanton. Nick Chanock appears to be Baez’s direct agent.
Javier Baez returned to shortstop for a game Tuesday night and is hitting .286/.336/.622 with nine doubles and eight home runs with a .959 OPS in his last 26 games.
Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber
Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber both went yard Tuesday night. One appeared was going to be enough to end his team’s losing streak while the other provided a walk-off win in extra innings.
Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) launched his 12th homer in an I-Cubs uniform and his 34th of the season in the fourth inning and it appeared Bryant’s solo shot would be enough runs for the Iowa Cubs. But Zac Rosscup walked four batters in the ninth that forced in the tying run and New Orleans won it in the tenth inning.
Bryant ended an 11-game homer-less drought and even after his recent “slump,” he is hitting .309/.397/.647 with Iowa for a 1.044 OPS.
Kyle Schwarber delivered a walk-off home run for Daytona, a two-run shot in the 10th inning that gave the D-Cubs a 6-4 win over Bradenton. Schwarber is hitting .265/.387/.408/.795 with a double and two home runs in 14 games with Daytona. Schwarber has walked (10) as many times as he’s struck out (10) in High-A ball.
News and Notes
Mike Olt is 8-for-25 in seven games with Iowa. Olt has hit three doubles with a walk and nine strikeouts (.320/.346/.440/.786).
Nate Schierholtz isn’t a trade chip anymore according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Jed Hoyer was quite candid prior to Tuesday’s game and said that Edwin Jackson has been killing the bullpen. And that was before Jackson completed just four innings of a 16-inning game.
Before Tuesday’s marathon, Kyuji Fujikawa was expected to make at least one more rehab appearance for the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs are expected to make at least one roster move to help the bullpen prior to Wednesday’s game and there are not enough options on the 40-man roster. Fujikawa would have to be activated from the 60-man, which would take the final spot on the 40-man roster.
Darwin Barney is expected to report to the Dodgers Wednesday. The Cubs open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs acquired Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman from the Braves for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm
2012 – Cubs traded Geovany Soto to the Rangers for Jacob Brigham
2009 – Cubs acquired Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow from the Pirates for Josh Harrison, Jose Ascanio and Kevin Hart
2002 – Cubs released Travis Miller
2001 – Cubs traded Ruben Quevedo and Peter Zoccolillo to the Brewers for David Weathers and Roberto Miniel
1993 – Cubs acquired Tuffy Rhodes as part of a three-team trade. The Yankees sent John Habyan to the Royals, the Cubs sent Paul Assenmacher to the Yankees and the Cubs received Rhodes from the Royals.
1989 – Mark Grace belted a two-out, three-run homer off Rick Aguilera and gave the Cubs a 6-4 victory over the Mets. Les Lancaster won the game and the Cubs completed the three-game sweep over the Mets.
1985 – The Rangers signed amateur free agent Sammy Sosa
1957 – Steve Trout, born
1938 – Cubs traded Bob Logan and cash to the Washington Senators for Vance Page
1934 – Cubs purchased Clay Bryant from the Indians
1934 – Reds purchased Gilly Campbell from the Cubs
1933 – Cubs released Burleigh Grimes