Javy Baez explains why he didn’t run on double play ball
Javier Baez offered his side of what transpired during a bizarre double play in Thursday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Baez hit a ball to third base that was fielded by Jung Ho Kang. Kang threw the ball to home plate where Ben Zobrist was tagged out. Baez, who did not run to first base on the play, was also tagged out, resulting in an inning-ending double play. The turn of events was critical because it was a scoreless game.
Baez’s claim to the umpire was that he fouled the ball off of his foot.
Baez said he fouled this off his foot. Didn’t run to first with runners on 2B/3B, 1 out in 6th as ball went in play. Pirates record 5-2 out, then tag Baez for double play. On slow-mo replay, looks like all dirt, but hard to tell if it mayyybe nicked the cleat. pic.twitter.com/F5j6laDoq7
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 12, 2019
While it’s possible the ball did ricochet off of his foot and down the third base line, that’s going to be a tough sell for the umpire more often than not. Conventional wisdom says Baez should have run to first since a foul ball was not immediately called by the home plate umpire. The play allowed Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove to escape a situation where the Cubs had two runners in scoring position.