D-Peat. It’s one of Joe Maddon’s “Maddonisms” for the Chicago Cubs in 2017. It was on full display Tuesday night as the Cubs held off the Cardinals for the 2-1 victory.
There’s no doubt that the Chicago Cubs defense was a huge part of their success last season. The solid defense they played was evident in how good the pitching staff was as well. The Cubs hoped to get better on defense this year and after Tuesday night–things are looking good.
The Cubs got a soft RBI single from Jason Heyward and a safety squeeze out of Javier Baez for their only runs of the game. But those two would fill in on the defensive side of the ball as well as the Cubs “D-Peat” was in full effect.
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Earlier in the game, Kris Bryant made a nice diving grab to save a run and get an out at first. Later it was a leaping grab by Heyward in the sixth that denied Matt Carpenter of extra bases. But it would be the plays of Albert Almora and Baez that helped seal the deal for the Cubs.
First, if you’re Matt Adams you need to remember rule number one. Don’t hit it too high. Almora had time to track down the deep fly before turning in this web gem on the evening. This was a game-saver at the time, but not the last one we’d see on the evening.
This is one game, and just one play. To know if Almora can replace Dexter Fowler this soon is foolish to predict. But one thing we were aware of was his ability to flash the leather. This one was a good start for the Cubs new center fielder to endear himself to the fans.
Earlier in the game, Baez made a nice play a ball in the gap to rob Kolten Wong of a hit. Now, it wasn’t a perfect night for Baez as he did commit two errors on the night. But his two plays–especially the last one–turned out to be a game saver.
Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny would challenge the play–as he should–but it was a ‘bang-bang’ play that the umpires had no evidence to overturn the call on the field. And for the second time in the evening that Baez would rob Wong of a hit. Baez will not be getting a Christmas Card from Wong this year, that’s for sure.
The defense only solidified Maddon’s belief that the defense is going to need to be solid once again if the Cubs how to repeat as World Champions this year. I’m sold. I’m in. Lets D-Peat.