Game 11 Recap: Cubs 13, Pirates 5

Fresh off hitting two home runs in yesterday afternoon’s home opener, Javier Baez took to Twitter to keep the good news going. He announced his engagement to his now-fiance, Irmarie Márquez, who is currently pregnant with the couple’s’ first child.

On the field tonight Baez made sure the good times kept coming by hitting another pair of home runs and leading the Cubs to a 13-5 victory.

What You Need To Know: The Cubs’ bats came out to play tonight, and they showed just how scary good this lineup can be. Everyone tonight had a hit except for Jon Lester and Tommy La Stella (who still drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.)

Kris Bryant continued his hot start to the season with a three-hit night, his fifth multi-hit game in the first 11 games of the season. Ian Happ, who at one point was on pace to hit a home run on every pitch he faced, finally hit his second homer in a pinch-hit appearance.

On the hill today, Lester did not have his best stuff, but outside of a messy second inning—in which he gave up a three-run home run to Enemy Of All Gatorade Coolers Sean Rodriguez—he pitched fine.

Next Level: I really want to yell, “small sample size be damned, let’s get too hyped about Baez.” But even with the last two games there are still some issues Baez needs to work out to really finish his shine as an offensive player.

We know Javy likes to swing the bat: he does so on 58.4 percent of the pitches he sees. That, unfortunately, means swinging at a lot of bad pitches: his 0.4118 O-Swing rate confirms that. It leads to a high swing and miss rate, currently at 34.8 percent. Tonight in five plate appearances, he faced only 13 pitches, and while he was able to lay off the away pitch, he was still fooled on a few low curveballs.

It is hard to envision Baez becoming a Ben Zobrist-type selective hitter, but if he can improve his plate discipline just a bit more, nights like tonight could become more common.

Top WPA Play: For the second night in a row Baez gets the top play, this time for his three-run home run in the second inning. (+.158)

Bottom WPA Play: The aforementioned Sean Rodriguez three-run homer, also in the second inning. (-.222)

Lead photo courtesy Jim Young—USA Today Sports

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