Cubs

Wrigley erupts as Rizzo homers on 14th pitch of AB

Cubs

There are good at-bats, and there are great at-bats.

Anthony Rizzo's in the sixth inning Friday against the Cardinals was the latter.

Rizzo stepped to the plate with the Cubs trailing St. Louis 5-4. The first baseman was down 0-2 in the count against Cardinals right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon after fouling off an 0-1 offering.

What followed was one of the better sequences you'll see from a hitter as Rizzo fouled off nine more pitches, including six straight at one point, with a ball sandwiched between another three fouls.

And on Ponce de Leon's 14th offering, Rizzo didn't miss, smacking a game-tying home run to the right field bleachers to knot things at 5.

Friday marked the Cubs' first game with a full capacity crowd at Wrigley Field since 2019. Rizzo said the 35,112 fans in attendance being into each pitch of his at-bat helped him relax and stay locked in.

He equated the day's overall atmosphere to when the Cubs played their first night game at Wrigley in 1988.

"Seeing how happy everyone is to be back is a feeling that this is one of those days," Rizzo said.

"Obviously I wasn't here [in 1988]," he added, "but [Friday] was just such a good feeling."

David Ross said the moment will stick with him and stand out among those from his own playing days. He mentioned Alex Cora's 18-pitch at-bat in 2004 when they were teammates on the Dodgers.

Coincidentally, that came against Matt Clement and the Cubs.

 

"I would say [Rizzo's] definitely rivals that one," Ross said, "with the atmosphere and the packed house and 100 percent, what the roller coaster of the day has been, the emotions.

"To have that type of at-bat and getting back here in this rivalry game, that was up there. 

"That was special."

Outside of it being a pivotal moment, Rizzo made some history with the long ball. It's the deepest in a plate appearance a Cubs player has hit a home run since tracking pitch counts started in 1988, according to MLB.com's Sarah Langs.

What a moment on a memorable day at Wrigley Field.

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