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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Javy Baez explains why he didn’t run on double play ball

Javier Baez

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.

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.

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