The Cubs tied the game in the 9th inning last night, eventually loading the bases and bringing Anthony Rizzo to the plate. He hit a hard one toward second base, which temporarily squirted away from Tommy Edman, but Rizzo is not the fleetest of foot, so he was still thrown out at first base. The Cubs managed to hold the Cardinals scoreless in the bottom of the 9th, taking the game to the 10th, and putting the freebie runner on second. Since Rizzo made the last out, he was that freebie runner.
With all due love to Rizzo, it was a bit of a bummer, because Javy Báez immediately singled, and Rizzo couldn’t score from second. You know, the not-fleet-of-foot thing again. Ian Happ then grounded one up the middle, which was a tailor-made double-play, but at least it was gonna score Rizzo from third.
Except it didn’t, because Rizzo momentarily forgot everything about playing baseball. Not sure how else to explain it:
I guess Rizzo must have hesitated initially, fearing that the throw would come home first? But the ball was up the middle and the Cardinals were playing at medium depth. With a decent secondary lead, the moment Edmundo Sosa started toward second base, Rizzo should’ve been booking it home. *Maybe* Sosa still tries to make a play at the plate, but that seems highly unlikely to succeed, given how long it took to develop. But instead, Rizzo just stopped, and didn’t commit in either direction.
The Cubs didn’t score in the inning, and then Yadi Molina’s hit walked the Cardinals off in the following frame.
“That’s on me,” Rizzo said after the game, per NBCSC. “It was up the middle, and I froze, and I should have just gone right away to stay out of the double play. And I didn’t, I messed up, and it’s just a bad feeling.”
That’s about the size of it. There’s not much point in hammering the guy – just like I’m not about hammering certain other players when they periodically goof on the bases. It happens, they don’t want it to happen, and it’s one of those huge spotlights on a player that makes him feel like crap. I was very frustrated when it happened, and I’m probably still a little frustrated. But guys screw up sometimes, and you just have to roll with it (until/unless it becomes such a glaring pattern that action is necessary (this is not that)).