Cubs' Baez pulled after forgetting number of outs while on base
Baez was on first base with one out when Anthony Rizzo hit a lazy fly ball to left field. The infielder was halfway to third base when the ball was caught and he didn't even attempt to run back, leading to an easy inning-ending double play.
(Video source: MLB.com)
When he returned to the dugout, manager David Ross explained the situation to Baez and then removed him from the game. Sergio Alcantara took over at shortstop.
That wasn't the only mistake Baez made in the inning. He also didn't take a lead off first base during a pitch prior to Rizzo's flyout.
"We just got to make sure we're focused and locked in during a game," Ross said after the Cubs' 4-0 loss, according to Chris Emma of 670 The Score. "Sometimes, our frustrations can distract us a bit. We had a good conversation and I think that's behind us."
Baez said he forgot the number of outs and took responsibility for the mistake, according to Maddie Lee of NBC Sports Chicago. However, he still found Ross' decision to bench him surprising.
"I was surprised. I never want to be out of the lineup," he said, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "I respect his decision. He told me why it happened and I said 'OK, it's your decision.'"
The 28-year-old, who's scheduled to become a free agent after this season, entered Monday hitting .227/.266/.464 with 16 home runs, 44 RBIs, and an MLB-leading 95 strikeouts.
The two-time All-Star has spent his entire eight-year career with the Cubs, and he was a key member of their World Series-winning club in 2016.