Before Tuesday’s game in Miami vs. the Marlins, the Cubs’ slugging first baseman/human target Anthony Rizzo was struck in the inner thigh by a pitch thrown by an inanimate hitting tee.
Rizzo, already hit by a league leading 13 tosses from human pitchers, was taking a few practice cuts off the tee when the incident occurred. He was in Joe Maddon’s starting line-up for the game but did have a nice bruise that required treatment with a bag of frozen peas.
“I can’t explain it,” said a stunned Rizzo. “One second I was about to take a swing and the next thing I know, a fastball nails me right next to my man zone. There wasn’t anybody around, but I swear the the [expletive deleted] plunked me.”
No punches were thrown but Maddon did issue a warning to each party.
Speaking through an interpreter, the tee admitted he was simply trying to brush Rizzo back as Rizzo was “practically straddling him” and in no way meant to hit the slugger. He apologized for the bruise and hopes the two can work together the rest of the season.
Hit By Pitch Stat of the day:
2015 Anthony Rizzo, Cubs First Base – 49 games/13 Hit By Pitch
Mickey Mantle, Yankee Legend/Alcoholic – 2,401 career games/13 hit By Pitch