Skip to content

John Baker — the catcher — pitches an inning, gets the win and scores the winning run

Jul 30, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 7.51.51 AM Getty Images

The game was ugly, but what Cubs catcher John Baker did was pretty sweet.

Pressed into service in a 16-inning marathon, Baker threw 11 pitches, six for strikes, walked a batter but saw him erased on a double play. The other out was a foul out, showing that the Rockies couldn’t touch his wicked stuff. In the bottom of the sixteenth he drew a walk, took second on a sacrifice, took third on a single and then lumbered home on a Starlin Castro fly to left, scoring the winning run as the throw home skipped to the backstop.

That Baker was pitching was something less than an accident, actually. Cubs manager Rick Renteria actually used pitcher Jake Arrieta as a pinch hitter in the 13th with two men on and one out, rather than use Baker, his lone remaining position player. Renteria was saving Baker, he said, to pitch. That’s the sort of decision that you can almost laugh at after a win. If things had turned out differently, however, you’d have to really scratch your head. Well, I’ll scratch my head anyway. We live in an era of 13-man pitching staffs. You gotta feel like managers can manage their resources better.

But as it was, Baker pitched for the first time since he played in the Cape Cod League. And he became the first Cubs position player to get a win in more than 100 years.

Latest Posts
  1. Braves lose Freddie Freeman to another injury

    Aug 4, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Freddie Freeman AP

    In between the DL stints Freeman played just 10 games.

  2. Believe the hype: Carlos Correa is already a superstar

    Aug 4, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    150804-Carlos-Correa Getty Images

    Incredible numbers for a 20-year-old shortstop.

  3. The Tigers may be calling up Matt Boyd

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Matt Boyd Getty Images

    He’s pitcher number two they received in the David Price deal.

  4. An English soccer club effectively bars media. Get used to this, U.S. sports fans.

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:48 AM EDT

    press hat

    Not having access to athletes and coaches would be a bummer at first, but over time the press would do just fine with it.

  5. Video: Mike Hessman’s record-breaking homer

    Aug 4, 2015, 8:44 AM EDT

    Mike Hessman

    Congratulations to Mike Hessman. The greatest minor league lifer of them all.

  6. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 4, 2015, 7:22 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 7.21.25 AM AP

    A few weeks ago I had no idea what an Adonis Garcia even was.

  7. Adrian Beltre needs just five innings for the third cycle of his career

    Aug 3, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    San Francisco at Texas San Francisco at Texas

    Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle tonight against the Astros. And he needed just five innings to do it.

  8. Mets blow out Marlins, move past Nationals for first place in NL East

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes, J.T. Realmuto Yoenis Cespedes, J.T. Realmuto

    It’s August 3 and the Mets are all alone in first place in the National League East.

  9. Mike Hessman sets all-time minor league home run record

    Aug 3, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT

    Mike Hessman AP

    Mike Hessman is the new minor league home run king.

  10. Stephen Strasburg strikes out 11 batters in latest rehab start

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg AP

    Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been sidelined since July 4 with a left oblique strain, but it sounds like he’s rounding into form for the stretch run.

  11. Freddie Freeman exits game with right oblique injury

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:13 PM EDT

    ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 11: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves knocks in a run with a first inning double against the San Diego Padres at Turner Field on June 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Braves are calling him day-to-day, but these type of injuries are notoriously tricky.

  12. Cubs designate Clayton Richard for assignment

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

    CHICAGO, IL - JULY 08: Clayton Richard #33 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning on July 8, 2015 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Clayton Richard tossed six innings of one-run ball in a win over the Padres on Sunday, but he was designated for assignment by the Cubs today for the second time in the past two weeks.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gomez (5599)
  2. Y. Cespedes (4849)
  3. C. Hamels (4322)
  4. D. Price (3852)
  5. B. Revere (3550)
  1. G. Parra (3439)
  2. H. Olivera (3330)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (3280)
  4. M. Latos (3224)
  5. J. Soria (3206)