Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez is called “El Mago,” which means “the Magician,” because of his penchant for making incredible and unusual plays.
He reminded everyone how he got that nickname Monday afternoon when he had what MLB.com’s Cut4 called “the wildest base hit of the year.”
With two outs in the bottom of the second in the Cubs’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baez came to the plate with Kris Bryant on third.
On an 0-2 pitch from Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, Baez was protecting the plate. Was he ever.
Taillon’s curveball went in the dirt before it hit home plate, but Baez was fooled and had already started swinging — so rather than take the strikeout, he literally threw the bat at the pitch.
Yes, he let go of the bat to reach the pitch and hit the ball. It bounced in the dirt first before Baez hit it.
Either way, the ball blooped out into short left field just over the head of shortstop Kevin Newman for an RBI single.
“El Mago with the magic wand,” said Cubs announcer Jim Deshaies.
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 8, 2019
Baez himself couldn’t explain it.
“I don’t know how I hit it,” he said after the game, reported Cubs Insider. “It did bounce. There’s a lot of times that you hit the ball really hard and right to somebody. The baseball can go anywhere. That’s a good example. I saw Vladdy Guerrero did it back in the day and he’s in the Hall of Fame right now.”
Báez off the bounce. 😱 pic.twitter.com/gFbtDKCZL4
— MLB (@MLB) April 8, 2019
Who’s ready to see El MAGO back at Wrigley this year?? pic.twitter.com/LPu0stCzCH
— Cubs Highlights (@HighlightsCubs) March 30, 2019
Baez’s RBI single increased the Cubs’ lead to 5-0, and they went on to win 10-0. Brad Brach got the win in relief.
Baez had two hits, while Kyle Schwarber had a home run and two RBIs.
The Cubs improved to 3-7, while the Pirates dropped to 5-4.
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