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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Javier Baez explains why he stared down Hunter Strickland after go-ahead hit


Javier Baez delivered the go-ahead hit for the Chicago Cubs in their NLDS-clinching win Tuesday night, and you may have noticed how he blatantly stared down San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland after he rounded first base. Apparently there was a reason for that.

When asked about the icy stare after the game, Baez offered a simple response:

Baez knew the hit was a potential series-clincher, but his enthusiastic clapping right in the direction of Strickland made it clear there was something else going on. As Dayn Perry of notes, Strickland brushed Baez back with a pitch during Game 3 after Baez seemed to admire two balls he hit hard in previous at-bats. Baez and Giants reliever Sergio Romo also exchanged words following a strikeout during that game.

The tension may have started in Game 1, when Buster Posey took a jab at Baez over the young shortstop admiring a home run.

Whatever the case, the Giants and Cubs won’t have a chance to smooth things over until 2017. Thanks to a remarkable comeback in Game 4, Chicago is heading back to the NLCS.


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