It was the hot topic of the day, with Fernando Tatis Jr. chastised by not only the Rangers but also his own manager for having the temerity to swing in a 3-0 count, and I was glad to hear from Anthony Rizzo on the topic.
Speaking on ESPN1000 today with Kap & Hood, Rizzo appropriately dumped on the idea that you’re just supposed to take a 3-0 pitch because your team has a big lead.
“That’s a washed rule because if we’re supposed to take 3-0, then the pitcher is supposed to throw us a fastball 3-1. That unwritten rule needs to be washed away because [pitchers] may not even throw you a fastball down the middle anymore 3-0. I can see guys getting ticked off but he did exactly what he was supposed to do swinging at a 3-0 pitch, and that’s hit a grand slam. I don’t know if you can be that ticked off about it. Our job is to get a hit every single time we go to the plate.”
In other words? The hitter is up there to compete. It isn’t his job to be up there thinking about how big of a lead is too big of a lead, how good of a count is too good of a count, how sensitive the pitcher’s soft feelings might be. If the game is still being played and if the other team is still trying to win, then you compete. Period.
A reminder: when both the Rangers and Padres’ managers indicated Tatis was wrong to swing 3-0 and hit a grand slam in a game with two innings left for the opposing offense, they were saying the game is over. The MANAGERS OF THE TEAMS are telling their players not to try, because the game is over. Great message, right?
I’ll take Rizzo’s message, thankyouverymuch.
YES! @obvious_shirts Always comes through.
We don't apologize for smashing dingers in this house.
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) August 18, 2020