Observations: Cubs, Báez end 19-8 May with signature win originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Cubs beat the NL-leading Padres 7-2 on Monday, improving to 30-23 this season while ending May 19-8.
Here are 10 observations from the game.
1. We got an early glimpse at two of the game’s best shortstops involved in the same play. Javy Báez made a nice stop on Fernando Tatis Jr.’s hot shot grounder in the second, but Tatis reached on a Báez throwing error.
2. We all know Báez feeds off the energy of the crowd, and the 24,824 fans at Wrigley Field were chanting “Javy, Javy” as he stepped up with two outs in the third. Báez promptly crushed a go-ahead two-run blast to the batter’s eye in center field, measuring 455 feet. It’s the fourth-longest homer of Báez’ career.
3. History repeated itself in the seventh. Seconds after fans started chanting “Javy, Javy,” he crushed his second home run of the day to center field, taking a curtain call after. It’s his ninth career multi-homer game.
4. David Ross wasn’t ready to say what the Cubs’ plans are for Trevor Williams’ rotation spot after Monday. But Kohl Stewart earned a second look after coming up big vs. San Diego. He tossed five innings of one-run ball (unearned), allowing just three hits and a walk.
5. Stewart looked unfazed pitching in front of a big crowd in a spot start. Just look how smooth he was on one of two comebackers he cleanly fielded.
6. Ross mentioned Sunday how the banged-up Cubs have a lot of guys playing out of position. Kris Bryant is one example, playing first base. Báez’ low throw on the Tatis play escaped under his glove. Jurickson Profar later hit a hard grounder under Bryant’s glove for a single.
7. Bryant is swinging one hot bat. He extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-4 day, including a splash down home run. The streak is one game shy of his career high, set in 2016.
8. Patrick Wisdom continues to come up big for the Cubs as they weather a ton of injuries. He flashed his strong arm at third base Monday, paired with two solo home runs to help power the Cubs offense.
9. The Cubs bullpen will need to start another streak. After their 38 1/3-inning scoreless streak ended Saturday, they threw nine straight shutout innings. Tatis snapped that with a solo homer off Keegan Thompson in the sixth.
10. Tatis bowed towards the bleachers after replay review upheld his tag at second base in the eighth to retire Rafael Ortega on a stolen base attempt. The Wrigley Field faithful promptly showered him in a chorus of boos.
On deck: The Padres and Cubs open their June schedules Tuesday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. CT. Ryan Weathers (2-1, 1.31 ERA) and Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 4.63 ERA) are the probable starters.