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Javier Baez pulled off one of the most insane baseball plays you’ll ever see.
Baseball has existed for almost two centuries, which means it’s pretty hard to see something you’ve never seen before.
But try telling that to Javy Baez or the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Those two entities combined for what can only be described as the most insane baseball play we’ve ever seen that double as something we’ve never seen happen before.
In the third inning of Thursday’s game between the Cubs and Pirates, with two outs and a runner on second, Baez seemingly grounded out to end the inning. It initially was pretty routine: but when Pirates first baseman Will Craig needed to step off of and in front of the bag to catch the throw from Erik Gonzalez, rather than take two steps back and step on the bag to record the out he decided to chase Baez down the first base line.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
Willson Contreras, who was at second base, used the confusion to come screaming around bases toward home plate while Craig chased Baez. Once he was there, Craig panicked and flipped the ball to catcher Michael Perez, but was too late to make the tag. Meanwhile, Baez was already sprinting back toward an unguarded first base. As Adam Frazier came barreling toward the bag to try and make an out, the throw sailed past him which allowed Baez to reach second base.
So, to summarize, the Pirates allowed the Cubs to turn what would have been a routine inning-ending groundball into an allowed run that put a runner back on second.
Never before has ‘you have to see it to believe it’ rang so true.
Wil Craig is a former first-round pick for the Pirates. Not to twist the knife on fans, but here’s a brief list of players Pittsburgh passed on in the 2016 MLB Draft to take Craig and set in motion a series of events that led us to what we just witnessed:
- Will Smith
- Dane Dunning
- Dylan Carlson
- Pete Alonso
- Nolan Jones
- Bryan Reynolds
- Bo Bichette
- Dustin May
- Shane Bieber
It cannot be overstated how deeply and ridiculously bone-headed this entire sequence was, not to mention entirely avoidable. All Craig needed to do was step on the first base bag and record the out — it was no simpler than that.