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Anthony Rizzo Admits Critical Baserunning Mistake Late in the Game

Anthony Rizzo took accountability for his late game mistake in Wednesday night’s tough extra innings loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chicago Cubs
Photo: Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Cubs‘ Wednesday night loss was a tough one. What makes it worse is that a crucial mistake was made in the 10th inning by the guy I trust the most, Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs made another 9th inning comeback thanks to a two-out RBI double from Eric Sogard. After shutting down the Cardinals in the bottom of the 9th, Rizzo started the 10th on second base in accordance with the new extra innings rule. A Javier Baez single moved Rizzo to third with no outs and brought Ian Happ to the plate. The Cardinals were willing to give up the run by playing the infield at double play depth.

Happ hit a ball to the shortstop Paul Dejong, who threw it to second to start a routine 6-4-3 double play. However, after getting the force out at second the ball was thrown home and caught Rizzo between third and home. After a rundown, he was eventually tagged out. The Cubs quickly went from a promising first and third situation with nobody out to not scoring at all. Then, in the bottom of the 10th, Yadier Molina hit a walk-off double to finish the night in brutal fashion.

Rizzo in the Wrong

After the game, Rizzo admitted that it was his fault, and that he froze when he saw the ball go up the middle. He also noted that he should have gone right away.

Had he gone right away he would have easily scored in my opinion since the Cardinals were playing regular double play depth. As a former collegiate baseball player, I’ve had my fair share of situational hitting and baserunning practice. Rizzo is not wrong about seeing it go up the middle and freezing, because in that situation the runner should only freeze if it is hit to the pitcher. But, when it was past the pitcher, he should have went. Ultimately, the mistake wasn’t freezing initially, it was failing to run immediately after seeing the ball on the ground past the pitcher.

I am appreciative for Rizzo taking accountability after the game. He is the leader of the clubhouse and if he can show publicly that he will face the music, then the rest of the team should do the same. That is what will continue to create a winning culture even if/after the Cubs let core players leave.

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