(CBS) In the aftermath of the Cubs’ 2-1 win in which his bloop RBI single in the bottom of the eighth lifted his team to victory against the Nationals in Game 3, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo admitted in a postgame television interview that he was surprised he was pitched to with first base open.
His reaction after the winning hit had already hinted at his surprise. After being tagged out on the play while trying to take second base, Rizzo screamed “respect me” as the Wrigley Field crowd roared Monday evening. The Nationals had brought in lefty reliever Oliver Perez to face Rizzo with two outs and Leonys Martin on second base, choosing to pitch to Rizzo instead of face Willson Contreras behind him.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the National League Division Series with the win. Game 4 is at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker explained his thinking afterward.
“The other option might’ve been to walk him and then pitch to Contreras, but Contreras, like I said earlier in the series … is really dangerous with runners in scoring position and two outs,” Baker said. “So you got to pick one of the two. He blooped the ball in there. It’s not like it was a clean hit. It was a blooper, and I thought we had a chance to catch it.”