The Cubs put on a show yesterday but almost gave up the hitting performance in the ninth with a rally by Pittsburgh. In the end, it was the Cubs overcoming the Pirates 9-5. The festivities got off to a thrilling start after Anthony Rizzo launched what could have been his third lead off home run in as many games, but after a video review it was called foul.
“Now the burden of proof came back to whether or not it was fair or not,” Maddon said. “If it had been confirmed foul, I’m fine. But the play stood. If we had gone right to replay immediately after this thing was hit, and they said it was foul, I would’ve been in that game for nine innings. But the way it came down procedurally, I totally disagree with. There’s no argument you can give me. You have basically neutered instant replay by the way it was handled tonight.”
Joe’s got a point. The ball was clearly foul but the evidence was inconclusive and yet, they still called foul. The way I look at it, the game’s in the beautiful PNC Park so chalk it up to hometown advantage. Joe was ejected and the always even tempered Anthony Rizzo even looked a little hot headed.
“That was absolutely a home run,” Rizzo said. “There is no way it could have gone over the pole foul because this is one of the shortest right fields in the league. I hit it too hard for it to have time to go foul. I respect the umpires and I never like to criticize them because I know they give their very best but they got that one wrong. At least, we won the game and that’s all that really matters.”
The ninth inning took on a life of its own after the Cubs plated six after bench all star Jon Jay got things going with a go ahead single and the rest was history.
The problem I have with the win is that the Cubs could have done a better job in the ninth holding off Pittsburgh. Yeah, they got the win but showed some of the cracks that have formed in the World Series champs. I’ve got a good feeling though with Rizzo in the lead off. Three games. Almost three home runs.
“Anthony probably had a chance to go into the record books, with three leadoff home runs,” Maddon said. “Our game is based on that stuff [statistics]. The first-base umpire was demonstrative that baseball was fair … Why change it?”