Javier Baez took Johnny Cueto deep in the bottom of the eighth in Game 1 of NLDS for a 1-0 Cubs win
Each one of the 11 wins for the Cubs on the way to The World Series Championship provided unforgettable moments. And Javier Baez supplied the first one in the opener of the Division Series against the Giants.
Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto locked in a pitcher’s duel to start the playoffs. Lester limited the Giants to five hits over eight shutout innings, giving up just one extra base knock and no walks. The Cubs struggled with Cueto again and had two hits after seven innings.
Lester set the Giants down in order in the top of the eighth. Bruce Bochy allowed Cueto to hit for himself with two outs in the eighth and Lester retired him to end the innings. Cueto got Jason Heyward to pop out for the first out in the eighth inning.
Javier Baez stepped in and worked a full count against Cueto.
Baez unloaded on the 3-2 pitch from Cueto and hit a towering homer to left. Off the bat, the ball appeared to be long gone. But it was held up by the wind and just made it into the basket.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead into the ninth and Aroldis Chapman escaped the ninth after giving up a two-out double to Buster Posey. The Cubs took Game 1 by a final of 1-0.
The Giants were a difficult matchup for the Cubs in the regular season. The Cubs won four of the seven games, outscoring the Giants 23-17. And it proved to be more of the same in the Best-of-Five National League Division Series.
The Cubs won Game 2 of the NLDS by a 5-2 after jumping out to an early 4-0 lead. The bullpen stepped up in relief of an injured Kyle Hendricks. Travis Wood hit a home run as Joe Maddon used five relievers to take a 2-0 lead in the short series.
As the Division Series shifted to San Francisco with the Cubs one win away from returning to the NLCS, Javier Baez’s eighth inning shot off Johnny Cueto proved to be just the start of the Cubs historic run to winning The World Series.