Anthony Rizzo explains strange mix-up with Javy Báez originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In Wednesday’s back-and-forth game, a defensive mix-up between Anthony Rizzo and Javy Báez almost came back to haunt the Cubs.
With one out, the score tied at 4 and Dodgers runners on the corners in the 11th inning, Matt Beaty hit a chopper to Rizzo. The Cubs first baseman had several options to start an inning-ending double play, if not get at least one out.
“I knew if I stepped on the base and went home, it would have been do or die,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo elected to start a potential 3-6-3 double play with Báez, firing a strike to the Cubs shortstop covering second base. But his foot was close to first base when he made the throw.
“I kind of tight roped first base, not touching it purposely to get the double play [3-6-3],” he said. “I don’t think Javy saw that.”
Báez tagged out Dodgers catcher Will Smith. He pointed to Rizzo, appearing to react as if they turned a 3-6 double play. But Rizzo never touched first, and Max Muncy scored the go-ahead run for Los Angeles.
“I tried to just go for the [3-6-3],” Rizzo said. “I probably should have been screaming ‘1, 1, 1!’
“Usually if I step on the bag, [I’m] yelling ‘tag, tag, tag!’”
Had Rizzo stepped on the base before the throw, Báez would only have had to tag Smith out to complete the double play. Because he didn't, Báez would have had to throw back to Rizzo to complete the turn.
“It just didn’t work out," Rizzo said.
Thankfully for the Cubs, the moment didn't hurt them in the end. Rizzo hit a walk-off single in the bottom half of the inning, completing a sweep of the Dodgers.