Top 10 Games of 2020: Javy Báez walks it off
The 2020 Cubs season may have been shorter than normal, but it was packed with huge moments and thrilling games. Marquee Sports Network is counting down the Top 10 games of the year — featuring a new Top 10 game each weeknight in November on our network.
No. 6 – Cubs vs. Pirates (Aug. 2)
The Cubs had their first taste of the new extra inning rule and, boy, was it sweet.
Javy Báez laced a single up the middle to drive in David Bote from third to give the Cubs a 2-1 walk-off win over the Pirates and giving the Cubs a 7-2 record to start the season.
“We won, so so far, so good,” a laughing Ross said about the extra-inning rule after the game. “It definitely puts a lot of heat in the moment and you’re not having everybody trying to hit homers. I think sometimes in extra innings, it ends up being home run derby.”
The result prompted one of the viral moments of the season, a scene so 2020. The Cubs rushed out of the dugout towards Báez in the infield and all air-fived one another in celebration, making sure to maintain proper social distancing.
“I wanted to bring out the masks and have everyone jump on him,” Kyle Schwarber said after the game. “It was pretty good there. I think everyone wanted to dogpile Javy, but then we were like, ‘let’s keep it down a little bit. Let’s be cool, show that we’re being responsible here.’”
It wasn’t all clear sailing for the Cubs, though.
After battling a 1-hour, 4-minute rain delay, the Cubs had to face the new extra inning rule where each team starts the inning off with a runner on second base.
The Pirates looked to have the prime opportunity to take the lead in the top of the 10th, when Josh Bell led off with a single to left and Jacob Stallings tried scoring from second. Schwarber made a laser throw to home plate to nab Stallings at home and keep the score tied. In the top of the 11th, Jeremy Jeffress induced a fielder’s choice, a lineout and a groundout to keep things scoreless and give the Cubs the opportunity to walk it off.
The Cubs fell behind in the 1st when Kevin Newman hit a 1-out solo home run off Jon Lester. It was the only blemish on an otherwise stellar performance from Lester, who struck out 4 and allowed 4 hits in 6 innings of work.
Schwarber tied the game up in the 5th, when he doubled to center scoring Willson Contreras, who had led the game off with a double.
11th inning / Báez walks it off
Postgame / Cubs celebrate in slo-mo
5th inning / Schwarber’s double ties game
Lester strikes out 4 in 6 innings of work
10th inning / Kyle Schwarber throws out runner at home