Show Sim: Javy Báez leads Cubs to first ‘win’ of 2020
Thursday, March 26 was supposed to be the day.
The Cubs were set to kick off their season and the quest to return to the playoffs was on track. Sometimes, though, things don’t go according to plan.
With the coronavirus outbreak, the MLB season was put on hold and the Cubs’ opener at Miller Park in Milwaukee is no longer.
At Marquee Sports Network, we sought for a way to fill the void of Opening Day baseball. Enter MLB The Show, San Diego Studio’s annual baseball video game for the PlayStation 4. This year’s video game features Cubs shortstop Javy Báez on the cover.
We ran an Opening Day simulation between the Cubs and Brewers and the result was a thrilling 6-5 victory for the Cubs.
Cover star Báez shined in the game, going 3-for-5 with a 3-run home run in the 5th inning and a stolen base. Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward each had 2 hits in game.
The Cubs and Brewers were locked in a seesaw affair, with the North Siders eventually downing their NL Central rival. Heyward laced a two-out single to right-center field with the bases loaded in the top of the 7th inning to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead for good.
The Cubs trailed twice in the game and rallied to tie it each time. Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Christian Yelich double to right field.
Schwarber got his first hit of the season with a double off the right field wall in the top of the 2nd. Two batters later, Heyward missed a home run by a few feet as his RBI double caromed off the right field wall, advancing Schwarber to third. Ian Happ grounded out to first to score Schwarber.
New Cub Jason Kipnis led the 5th inning off with a 4-pitch walk, with Kyle Hendricks advancing him to second on a bunt. New Cubs leadoff man Kris Bryant drew a walk and two batters later, Báez delivered the big blow. His blast forced Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff out of the game after 4.2 innings.
The Brewers rallied with 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th and took the lead in the 6th on an RBI single from Yelich. Schwarber tied the game in the 7th with a double to right field that plated pinch hitter Victor Caratini.
The Cubs bullpen shut the door from there. Kyle Ryan and Dan Winkler tossed scoreless frames in the 7th and 8th.
Craig Kimbrel got his potential rebound season off on the right foot, pitching a perfect 9th inning for the save, striking out the side (Yelich, Keston Hiura and Omar Narváez) on 18 pitches. Yelich had gone 4-for-4 before facing Kimbrel.
Hendricks pitched 5 innings, striking out 4, but all the runs he allowed were unearned. Trevor Megill picked up the win in relief.
Here’s how the teams lined up to start the game:
Kris Bryant – 3B
Anthony Rizzo – 1B
Javy Báez – SS
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Willson Contreras – C
Jason Heyward – RF
Ian Happ – CF
Jason Kipnis – 2B
Kyle Hendricks – P
Lorenzo Cain – CF
Brock Holt – SS
Christian Yelich – RF
Keston Hiura – 2B
Omar Narváez – C
Avisaíl García – LF
Eric Sogard – 3B
Justin Smoak – 1B
Brandon Woodruff – P
Check out the entire stream of the game: