Manager Joe Maddon isn't worried about Javier Baez or his Chicago Cubs, even after Baez's casual throw to second base cost his team a pivotal series.
Baez and Ben Zobrist failed to convert on a fielder's choice and allowed a run to score in the eighth inning, and Brock Stewart and four relievers combined to four-hit the Cubs in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 victory on Sunday.
"We made a mental mistake at second and it costs us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "(Baez is) a young player but he has as much instinct for this game as anyone I've ever seen. I'm not going to beat up my guys."
The team didn’t seem like they were letting the loss get to them, either. Players were captured heading to what looked to be a fun – and comfortable – flight home from the West Coast, rocking onesies on the plane.
Baez took to Twitter and Instagram to share a photo of him and reliever Hector Rondon wearing matching footed pajamas adorned with monkeys:
The outfits are part of Maddon’s famed themed road trips. Other trips have included track suits and zany business suits.
Earlier in the game, with one out in the eighth, pinch-hitter Andrew Toles was hit by a pitch, and then Trevor Cahill (3-4) threw away Howie Kendrick's short roller, allowing Toles to reach third.
After an intentional walk to Corey Seager and a strikeout, Adrian Gonzalez hit a soft grounder to the left side, away from the shifted Cubs' defense. Baez stumbled backward to field it and then threw easily to late-arriving second baseman Zobrist. Umpires ruled a sliding Seager beat Zobrist to the bag, allowing Toles to score, and a review upheld the call.
"As soon as I saw (Baez) throw to second I knew I had a chance of being safe," Seager said. "Fortunately, it worked out for us."
Seager's right foot slid into the base with Zobrist's left foot just inches from coming down on the bag.
"I didn't expect to be late on the play, but we didn't communicate on the play," Baez said. "(Seager) beat the throw. Next time, I will be better and will be in my spot."
The Dodgers took two of three from the Cubs over the weekend.
Stewart struck out eight over five innings of two-hit ball, and then Jesse Chavez, Grant Dayton, Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen closed up shop. Blanton (5-2) got the win and Jansen got three outs for his 39th save.
Stewart began the season with Class A Rancho Cucamonga and was making just this third big league start. He struck out eight of the first 12 batters to set a career high and struck out six in a row during one stretch.
He also got his first major league hit with a single in the third off Lester. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth after throwing 80 pitches.
Jon Lester struck out six and pitched three-hit ball over six innings, and the Cubs also four-hit the Dodgers.
"I felt efficient early in the game but in the fifth and sixth innings they ran deep counts and made me work," Lester.
Kendrick walked to lead off the first and reached third on an errant pickoff attempt by catcher David Ross, but Lester struck out Seager, Justin Turner and Gonzalez successively to end the threat.