Anthony Rizzo was moved into the leadoff spot for the first time in his career on Tuesday night. He responded by hitting a home run on the second pitch of the game. On Wednesday night he upped the ante by homering on the first pitch. At this rate he’ll be hitting dingers three hours before the game starts that somehow count.
The slugger realizes he now holds a special place in history.
“I’m statistically the greatest leadoff hitter of all time,” Rizzo said smiling, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. “I’d like to retire there and talk smack to everyone who tries to do it. You just go with it, it’s fun. To go back to back there [in the first], the dugout is really loose. Statistically, by the books, to lead off the game, I’m the best ever is, right now.”
Enjoy the good times while they last, Anthony. The law of averages suggests there will come a time when you fail to hit a first-inning homer.
Joe Maddon’s decision to drop Kyle Schwarber from the top of the order was necessitated by an anemic .299 on-base percentage. One can debate the cost-benefit breakdown on forfeiting some of Rizzo’s RBI total, but the move is paying immediate dividends.