What first inning struggles??
The Cubs have had issues in the opening frame of games lately, but Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, that was certainly not the case.
After making Cincinnati Reds starter Amir Garrett work in the first inning, Addison Russell forced home a run by drawing a walk.
Four pitches later, Javy Baez made it hurt big time, drilling a 1-2 Garrett offering off the bottom of the left-field video board:
Here's the full play:
It was Baez's third career grand slam; he hit two in 2016 (June 28 and Sept. 26).
The June 28, 2016 blast came in the 15th inning against the Reds last year:
3 career Grand slams for Javier Báez.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 18, 2017
He has 2 vs Reds.
One in the 1st inning (today)
One in the 15th inning (6/28/16)
It was also the Cubs' first first-inning grand slam since Junior Lake accomplished the feat in 2013:
#Cubs first inning grand slams since 2000— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 18, 2017
Javier Báez today
Junior Lake 9/6/2013
Mark DeRosa 6/3/2007
Aramis Ramírez 6/25/2005
Another interesting note: Baez now has as many grand slams on the season as walks earned (he has four intentional walks, one unintentional).
Baez has three homers in his last 10 games and is on pace for 24 longballs, a jump from the career-high 14 he smacked in 2016.