Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

Cubs ripple effects of Javy Baez's thumb injury

Video: Christian Yelich decorates three-hit night with home run no. 44 MRI shows Javy Baez suffered hairline fracture in left thumb
Shannon Reynolds | 11 September, 2019, 06:39

This is not the news the Chicago Cubs needed as they battle for a postseason berth.

Addison Russell, thrust back into the role of everyday shortstop with Javy Báez out with a hairline fracture of his left thumb, broke a scoreless tie with a home run in the fifth inning. He'll undergo further examination with a hand specialist on Monday.

Baez suffered the injury last Sunday against the Brewers sliding into second base on a pickoff attempt. "There's all that, the things that he does to pick us up when things aren't going well - stolen base, the extraordinary slide, the play, the home run". He was also reportedly dealing with neck soreness, but it's the thumb injury that has proven problematic.

But the timing of Baez's injury could not be worse, as the Cubs are trying to make one last push for the playoffs. He'll be out until at least the middle of September and potentially longer. The 2018 runner-up for NL MVP was hitting.281 with 29 homers and 85 RBIs, leaving a sizable hole in the lineup for the final three weeks. Of course, his contributions go well beyond simply hitting the baseball. Hernan Perez moved from third base to shortstop when Arcia left and Mike Moustakas checked into the game at third. His absence will leave a tough void to fill.

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Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was hit in the face by a 94 miles per hour fastball from Houser. Ben Zobrist followed suit to plate the pitcher and give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

The pain in Javier Baez's thumb wouldn't go away, and now the Chicago Cubs have a giant pain as they chase a National League playoff spot.

It takes a definite hit with Baez sidelined.

If nothing else, the Cubs' margin for error will be much thinner. Christian Yelich doubled him home with two outs for a 3-2 Brewers victory. Chicago now has possession of the NL's second wild card spot. In the bottom of the third inning, he lifted a 3-2 changeup from Cole Hamels and belted it well over the right field fence to put the Brewers on the board.

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