Anthony Rizzo thought he had reached base to put runners on first and second for the Yankees’ dormant offense when he was hit in the leg by a Ryan Yarbrough slider, but home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn quickly called him back to the box.
Reyburn ruled that Rizzo did not try to evade the pitch, and Rizzo couldn’t believe the call, which was ruled a ball. After striking out later in the at-bat, Rizzo threw a Paul O’Neill-like tirade in the dugout.
“Yarborough throws a big, sweeping slider, and if I bail out of the way of that and it comes back as a strike, I’m gonna be pretty annoyed,” Rizzo explained. “I have to wait for the last second there. I don’t wear any pads up there. I’m pretty good at bracing for balls. It was one of those things where I saw I was about to get hit and you just brace for it. It is what it is.
“It shouldn’t have been called tonight. I’ve been hit by a lot of pitches and it’s never been called. It is what it is.”
Rizzo was the Cubs’ all-time leader in hit by pitches during his time in Chicago, so it’s a fairly large sample size of him never having that called on him. So he wanted an explanation, and furthermore, wants the umpires to explain themselves to the media like players have to on a nightly basis.
“Any time you feel like you get screwed over on a call it’s annoying,” Rizzo said. “We’re out here competing at the highest level and I’m up here talking to you guys, and I feel like the umpires have zero accountability when they miss something like that. I know they’re not trying to miss, but it’s just frustrating.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1