The Cubs are good. Bear with me here. You’ve seen them on paper, the match-ups that always skew heavily in their favor before a playoff series or a weekend set at Wrigley Field. You know Kris Bryant put an MVP-worthy season together and Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks can each make a compelling case for the Cy Young Award. You know their bullpen had the third-highest K/9 rate, at 9.92, among major league bullpens in 2016 and their offense clocks in first place with 38.7 fWAR on the year.
You know all of this already. And yet, sometimes it takes a play this good and this rare to drive the point home. (Or maybe it doesn’t, and I’m just in denial most of the time. There’s a case to be made either way.)
In the second inning, with Jason Heyward on third base and no outs, Javier Baez crushed a Kenta Maeda slider for a double to drive in the second run of the night. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, then tore down the third base line when Jon Lester showed bunt at the plate, crossing the bag a second before the ball thumped into Carlos Ruiz‘s mitt for the tag.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the last Cubs’ player to steal home in the postseason did so in Game 4 of the 1907 World Series, when leadoff batter Jimmy Slagle nabbed home plate from under the nose of opposing catcher Boss Schmidt in the ninth inning.
This, on the other hand, is how I’d imagine the Dodgers felt following the play:
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.