Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro made some history when he slugged a pinch-hit two-run home run off of San Francisco Giants starter Madison Bumgarner in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat. It was the second day in a row Navarro came off the bench and went yard.
“I know I have a chance to pinch hit every day with an extra catcher [on the roster],” he said afterward. “I just get myself mentally ready and just go out there and swing.”
According to Stats, Inc. Navarro became just the third Cub in history to hit pinch-hit home runs in back-to-back games, and he did it from opposite sides of the plate. On Friday, he homered from the left side in the ninth inning to tie the game at three, then did it from the right side on Saturday to bring the Cubs within one.
“It’s a bittersweet situation,” Navarro stated. “I wish it could have been like yesterday where I could have tied the game.”
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time a pinch hitter has homered from opposite sides of the plate in back-to-back games since Todd Benzinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers did it in 1992.
“I’m watching him pitch the whole game, whether it’s in the dugout or in the clubhouse,” Navarro said of his preparation. “I was looking for a fastball, and I got one and fortunately did not miss it.”
The two long balls in two days were the first two pinch-hit home runs of Navarro’s career.