Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo rocks Wrigley Field after 14-pitch at-bat ends in game-tying homer
The Cubs trailed the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth when Rizzo came to the plate against Cardinals right-hander Daniel Ponce De Leon. He proceeded to have one of the best at-bats in baseball this season, fouling off numerous deliveries before sending a 2-2 offering into the right field bleachers.
This was the first home game the Cubs hosted fans at full capacity, and the raucous North Side faithful went crazy after the ball landed in the seats.
14 PITCHES LATER
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) June 11, 2021
Rizzo’s home run even had historical implications.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN reported Rizzo’s 14-pitch at-bat is tied for the longest of any AB ending in a home run in the last 10 years. It is also the longest at-bat to end in a homer by any Cubs player since “at least” 1988, and the longest in baseball dating back to 2012.
Longest AB by a Cub to end in a HR since at least 1988….longest in the league since 2012 https://t.co/KOgiIj2WDi
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 11, 2021
What a treat for fans on a day the organization labeled “Opening Day 2.0.” Fans were in for an even bigger treat when Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson hit a two-run double to give the Cubs the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Cubs entered preseason with ample question marks about their ability to contend in the National League Central. However, Chicago has answered the bell, with the offense getting production for numerous contributors and the team also finding a number of key arms in the bullpen.
Of course, it helps to have Rizzo–the first piece added in the team’s “rebuilding” phase early in the 2010s–providing professional at-bats and constant energy in the middle of the order.