Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Javier Baez has been off to a slow start so far in 2018, but he opened up the season at Wrigley Field with two dingers in an 5-8 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Baez’s first dinger came with the game tied at one a piece in the bottom of the second inning. The pitch was left hanging over the middle of the plate at chest height and the second baseman crushed the pitch out onto Waveland Ave beyond the left field bleachers.
His second home run of the game came under less ideal circumstances as the Cubs were trailing by six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. This one was the more impressive of the two round trippers as Ivan Nova left the pitch in the middle of the plate, this time it was a breaking ball about belt high, and Baez didn’t get in front of the pitch.
Chicago would go on to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth to force a save situation in the ninth. But the Cubs were unable to score anymore after that as the Pirates picked up their eighth victory of the season and their fourth road win.
Through his first 38 plate appearances, the 25-year old second baseman has struggled mightily — he’s hitting .194/.342/.548 and his wRC+ is up to 128 after yesterday’s game. Baez seems to have had some pretty rotten luck, his BABIP is currently at .200, but the good news is he’s striking out less and walking more than he has throughout his career. As he gets more plate appearances, you should expect the fourth year player’s batting and on base percentage improve.