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Just to Be Clear: No, Anthony Rizzo Did Not Lean Into His Key Hit-By-Pitch

Analysis and Commentary

I am seeing some saltiness in Cardinals quarters today, including suggestions in a couple articles out of St. Louis, about the propriety of Anthony Rizzo’s hit-by-pitch, which eventually led to the winning run in yesterday’s game.


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Here’s the pitch, which required replay to demonstrate that it clipped Rizzo’s jersey:

To be quite sure, Rizzo crowds the hell out of the plate and didn’t drop to the ground to get out of the way of this one, but it’s a big, bending breaking ball designed to look like it’s going to hit you so that you bail and take a strike. Thus, Rizzo hung in until the last second, and tried to turn away. The slo-mo makes it look like he was deciding far more of his bodily movements than he actually would have had time to decide in that last split second.

He didn’t stick his arm out. He doesn’t wear body armor. There is absolutely nothing unreasonable about this.

And the pitch was up and in (only slightly in, but in!), out of the strike zone:

So, then, what you have there is a legit HBP. For most batters, it’s not a HBP. But when you’re a guy who crowds the plate so that you can get supreme and glorious plate coverage, you’re going to get clipped by some of those. Rizzo did nothing unreasonable, got hit, and the Cubs won the game. That’s that.

And in case you’re wondering what it looks like when a batter, with body armor, leans into a pitch, here’s an example:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.