The Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets – at long last – 5-1 last night, and Anthony Rizzo’s three-run home run in the third inning gave the Cubs all they would need to win.

If you missed the dinger, you can watch it here (not embeddable). It’s certainly enjoyable. But that clip won’t give you a full appreciation for the homer, because the pitch shown there was only the final one in a sequence that saw Rizzo battle through nine other pitches before Mets lefty Steven Matz made a big mistake (via Brooks):

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Matz did a decent enough job staying away, moving up and down the zone, and varying his pitches. Those 10 included Matz’s two-seam fastball, his curveball, his slider, and his changeup, and Rizzo, after taking pitch four for strike two, just kept fouling them off. Pitches five (a curveball at the bottom of the zone), seven (a slider on the outer edge), and eight (a fastball at the top of the zone), in particular, were good pitches that Rizzo managed to foul off.

But pitch 10 … well, that’s not where you want to put a changeup. After throwing so many pitches, Matz was bound to make a mistake at some point, and, after seeing so many pitches, Rizzo was ready for it.

The three-run shot Rizzo hit, choking up on the bat to maximize contact, was the fifth longest in baseball yesterday, going 425 feet, according to the Home Run Tracker. It came off the bat at a whopping 107.4 mph. Yes, kids, you can shorten up with two strikes and you can still hammer a mistake.

Well, if you’re Anthony Rizzo, anyway.

Rizzo is now hittingĀ .293/.406/.586 on the year, and his 161 wRC+ trails only Matt Carpenter (163) in the NL. That 22nd homer of his trails only Adam Duvall (23), Nolan Arenado (23), and teammate Kris Bryant (25).






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