Yelich leads Brewers to win over Cubs

Quinn Harris- USA Today Sports

Quinn Harris- USA Today Sports

Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000. The loss of Baez, for however long, can't be overstated. He'll undergo further examination with a hand specialist on Monday.

AP photoChicago Cubs' Addison Russell, right, steals second base past the tag of Milwaukee Brewers' Cory Spangenberg during the third inning of Sunday's game in Milwaukee. He fell to his knees, holding his head, but eventually was able to compose himself and walk to first base accompanied by Maddon and two trainers. He was also reportedly dealing with neck soreness, but it's the thumb injury that has proven problematic. Darvish has been the Cubs' steadiest starter of late, and with other pitchers enduring their ups and downs, Darvish will hold a key to the Cubs' postseason chances. He is hitting.281 with 29 home runs and 85 RBIs. Of course, his contributions go well beyond simply hitting the baseball. Hernan Perez tied it up with an RBI single before Austin pinch hit for Houser and deposited a 3-1 fastball from Jon Lester (12-10) over the wall in left-center field. His absence will leave a tough void to fill.

Russell made his 13th start at shortstop this season Saturday. The Cubs led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th. He can take over regularly at second base, which will give Joe Maddon's infield some needed stability.

Cubs shortstop Javy Baez's MRB revealed a hairline fracture on his left thumb that he suffered last Sunday against the Brewers.

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It takes a definite hit with Baez sidelined.

At the moment, the Cubs have the second Wild Card spot, and their margin of error is slipping day by day.

Baez is also a central figure in the Cubs' defensive shifting, as he was nearly always moving from the traditional shortstop position to shallow right field against the likes of Christian Yelich and other left-handed hitters. That's a devastating blow for a team 2.5 games out of first place and only 2.0 games up in the Wild-Card standings.

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