Is there anything Anthony Rizzo can't do?
The Chicago Cubs' first baseman took on a new role for the team during their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, making his debut on the... pitcher's mound?
"It was awesome," he said. "I promised Joe I wouldn’t blow out."
The shift came as Chicago turned to position players to pitch at the end of a lopsided game. Backup catcher Victor Caratini threw one pitch to get the final out of the eighth. After giving up a lead-off single to Goldschmidt in the ninth, Caratini got David Peralta to hit into a double play. Anthony Rizzo then came on to get the final out of the inning in his first career appearance on the mound.
The team hadn’t used two position players to pitch in a single game since 1884 until Friday. Now, they’ve done it twice in four days.
Rizzo had been lobbying manager Joe Maddon to pitch for years.
"That's it," Rizzo said. "I got to do what I wanted to do, a lot of fun, and have a career zero ERA now."
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo admitted he was a little surprised when Maddon brought in Rizzo to pitch. Lovullo was asked if he'd ever bring in his first baseman to pitch.
"If I do, I'll probably get fired," he said. "Paul Goldschmidt, I can tell you, will never pitch in a game."
Goldschmidt homered and Patrick Corbin pitched seven strong innings, leading Arizona to a 7-1 victory over the Cubs.
Rizzo said he has no plans on testing out any other positions in the near future.
"That was it," he said. "I'll just continue to be a better hitter, focus my attention really on hitting and on defense."