There’s a certain point at which you stop even trying to explain how something works and just chalk it up to actual magic. That was what happened Monday afternoon when Javy Báez served an 0-2 curveball into shallow left for an RBI single, though no mere description could come close to doing it justice because the human mind isn’t capable of accepting it as truth.
With the Cubs already up 4-0 after the first of shortstop Kevin Newman’s three errors in the inning opened the door, Pirates starter Jameson Taillon was up 0-2 on Javy. One more strike would have done it. So Taillon spiked a curveball and fooled Báez badly, inducing an awkward swing that should have ended the inning. Except it didn’t.
Knowing he couldn’t reach the pitch, El Mago simply tossed his wand at it and watched as the ball feathered out over Newman’s outstretched glove and into the outfield grass. Then Javy made like Michael Jordan after lighting up the Trailblazers and just shrugged.
“I don’t know how I hit it,” Javy said after the game. “It did bounce. There’s a lot of times that you hit the ball really hard and right to somebody. The baseball can go anywhere. That’s a good example. I saw Vladdy Guerrero did it back in the day and he’s in the Hall of Fame right now.”
Some things just defy everything we know about the game, but it should come as no surprise that El Mago was at the center of this particular instance.