Major league baseball players are the best at what they do, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Sure, watching a batter smack a ball out of the park or seeing a pitcher throw a decisive strike is always entertaining, but sometimes the less-than-stellar performances make good highlights, too. That’s what happened last night, when Mets slugger Javier Báez (a recent acquisition from the Chicago Cubs) did what he’s known for: took a massive swing at a pitch. The only problem? The ball hadn’t even crossed the plate yet.
The at-bat occurred during the Mets’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday evening. Báez faced Giants pitcher Sammy Long, a 26-year-old rookie, and when Long unleashed a changeup, Báez went for it. Like, really went for it. Check out his monster swing in the video below:
This swing by Javy Baez 😬 pic.twitter.com/WwTrwyFOuG
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) August 24, 2021
Báez had basically finished his swing by the time the ball arrived at the plate. Although it was a bit embarrassing, it’s also part of his style as a batter: Go big or go home. He swings to hit home runs, and that means he’ll rack up plenty of strikeouts, too—he currently has 147, the fifth most in the league.
Earlier in August, Báez went 0-for-5 at the plate with five strikeouts, making him the first Mets player to do so since Dave Kingman whiffed his way through five at-bats during a game in 1982, The Spun reports. If you’re watching Báez, you need to be prepared to see a lot of strikeouts.
Of course, his big-swing strategy works a lot of the time, too. He hits plenty of homers: Báez is ranked 31st in the MLB with 24 home runs so far this season.
HR or K!
— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) August 13, 2021
Báez hung on after that massive swing and ultimately got a walk, but he wasn’t able to contribute much for the Mets. The Giants got to work early and stacked up a 7–0 lead by the end of the fourth inning, and the Mets couldn’t answer. The Giants won the first game of the three-game series in New York by a score of 8–0.
The two teams face each other again tonight—maybe one of Báez’s big swings will find the ball this time.
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