Video: Cubs Score After Javier Baez Involved in Bizarre Rundown Between Home and 1st

Adam WellsMay 27, 2021

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 23:  Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting the game-winning two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the tenth inning at Busch Stadium on May 23, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Javier Baez has a knack for making the spectacular look routine on a baseball diamond, but not even the Chicago Cubs star could have drawn up what happened Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

After Baez hit a ground ball to third base, Pirates first baseman Will Craig took a throw from Erik Gonzalez that pulled him off the bag. Rather than step on first to end the inning, Craig decided to engage Baez in a rundown between home plate and first base:

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

Javier Báez.<br>El Mago.<br>The Magician. pic.twitter.com/yZX7HgUFCU

Willson Contreras, who was on second base at the start of the play, came all the way around to score when Craig's toss home hit off catcher Michael Perez's glove. 

The official scorer's ruling on the play was an fielder's choice, and Perez was charged with an error when his throw to first base skipped away, allowing Baez to get to second. 

That was a total lapse in judgment on Craig's part. Even ignoring that there were two outs, all he had to do when he caught Gonzalez's throw was to step on the bag. 

Based on the reaction from Anthony Rizzo after the play, the Cubs dugout seemed to enjoy watching Baez fake out Craig in one of the most bizarre moments of the 2021 season.