Michael Bourn successfully laid down a bunt single leading off the bottom of the third inning during Saturday night’s game against the White Sox. He advanced to second on Nick Swisher’s walk, but didn’t have to do too much running as the next three Indians all flied out, leaving two runners stranded.
Bourn did not take his place in center field for the top of the fourth inning. Instead, Michael Brantley moved from left to center and Mike Aviles entered the game in left. Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer reports that Bourn left the game with tightness in his left hamstring. The Indians said it was a precautionary move.
Bourn missed the first two weeks of the season as he was on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury, one which bothered him throughout the second half of spring training. Bourn has gotten off to a slow start, entering Saturday’s action with a .631 OPS in 65 plate appearances.
Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.
With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.
First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:
Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:
That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.
For the second time in two weeks, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona left a game when he wasn’t feeling well.
Last night he left Cleveland’s 15-9 win over the Texas Rangers sometime before the fourth inning. He was evaluated by the medical staff and was said to be fine, but he did not return to the game. Francona was briefly hospitalized on June 13 following a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers due to similar symptoms. He returned to work the following night.
Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him in the past.
Back in spring training he said this:
“It gets harder and harder physically. It really does. It takes me longer to recharge every year . . . I’ve had a lot of surgeries, a lot of health problems. It just takes a toll on you. I love [the game of baseball]. I really do, but I can’t see myself doing something else. But there is going to come a day when I feel like I’m shortchanging the team or the organization. That’s not fair.
“Even now, during batting practice, I’ll come in and get off my feet a little bit. I think everybody understands. But when there comes a day when it gets in the way, I’m going to have to pull back, and it’s not because I don’t love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right.”
Here’s hoping that’s still far off in the future.