I don’t know why Javy Baez (or whoever’s giving him signals) would have so much faith that a pitcher making only his third plate appearance in the major leagues would be able to hold up his end of the suicide squeeze, but the overconfidence of Baez and the pure stupidity of Willson Contreras over on second combined to ruin Chicago’s chances at an early big inning on Tuesday night.
Down 1-0 in the second against Atlanta, having loaded the bases with one out, it was rookie pitcher Adbert Alzolay’s turn at the plate for the Cubs. As you may have gleaned if you read the previous paragraph, Alzolay tried and failed to lay down a bunt, and Javy Baez was the victim who got caught in between third and home. The play could have ended there, with two outs and men on first and second, but bafflingly, Contreras decided that Baez’s surrender was the perfect time for him to make a break for it. I’ll give him credit: It looked like a pretty close play! But the man in charge said he was out, so he was out.
Alzolay came up to start the following next inning, and unsurprisingly for a pitcher who never even got a hit at the minor-league level, he couldn’t put the ball in play there, either. He struck out on six pitches. Contreras, however, has already redeemed himself, scoring Baez and Anthony Rizzo on a lead-taking double in the fourth.