Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo found himself in the awkward position Sunday night of making the play of the game while simultaneously losing said game for his team.
Confused? So was Rizzo.
During the sixth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 24-year-old All-Star made a tremendous catch on an Aaron Hill popup, tumbling over a railing and into the Cubs’ dugout in the process.
The catch brought into play the seldom-seen Rule 7.04(c), though, which stated that since Rizzo fell out of the field of play to make the grab, all baserunners were allowed to advance one base. Since Arizona’s Miguel Montero was on third at the time, he came in to score, breaking a 1-1 tie in a game the D-backs went on to win 3-2.
Here’s the exact wording of the rule, via HardballTalk:
“If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should fall into a stand or among spectators or into the dugout or any other out-of-play area while in possession of the ball after making a legal catch, or fall while in the dugout after making a legal catch, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder fell into, or in, such out-of-play area.”
The lapse in judgement spoiled an otherwise solid showing by Rizzo, who had homered for the game’s first run just one inning earlier.