To say Anthony Rizzo was aggressive on the basepath in Sunday’s win over the Detroit Tigers would be a bit of an understatement.
His speed was on display in the eighth inning when he nearly singlehandedly tied the game at four by stealing second base and then reaching third after the ball sailed passed second in an attempt to throw him out. Rizzo outran the play at the plate after a Gleyber Torres hit a grounder up the third-base side.
It was a perfect example of heads-up base running and how deadly the Yankees can be in that part of their game.
“Credit those guys. Everyone in that room is really invested in that part of the game and we’ve seen it lead to runs and lead to victories, and a great job there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Just a great job by Rizz of paying attention to the game and he does so many little things within the game to help you win. His aggressiveness there led to Hill maybe fouling out there when he’s trying to bunt.
“All those little things that add up and are small things. Rizz did about three or four of them today that turned into really big things.”
Run Rizzo run!!! pic.twitter.com/vOp2lvxadf
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) June 5, 2022
Rizzo has four stolen bases through his first 53 games of the season after having six last year in 141 games split between the Chicago Cubs and Yankees. The first baseman is only one stolen base behind Aaron Hicks and four behind team leader Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
The Yankees have been aggressive as a team when it comes to stolen bases this year, with 31 which is tied for ninth in all of Major League Baseball. Rizzo is taking advantage of the chances when they come to him like they did against the Tigers.
Rizzo felt that reliever Michael Fulmer forgot about him on first, which allowed him to take second base in the eighth. “With one out I was going to take a shot with one pitch and it worked out,” Rizzo said.
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For the Bombers’ first baseman it’s about finding the right time to make his move.
“The baserunning you just have to pick and choose your spots,” he explained on Sunday. “I’m obviously not going to steal a lot of bases, but I feel like there’s times where in the game when it calls for it, you can get a bag here and there. Help energize the team a little bit.”