Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made a terrific catch in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday against the Diamondbacks, and also gave everybody a chance to brush up on rule 7.04(c).
The Diamondbacks had put runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 1-1 ballgame against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. Hill popped up a first-pitch fastball into foul territory on the first base side. Rizzo ranged over and snagged the ball before spilling over the fence into the camera well.
Rule 7.04(c) states that:
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.
As a result, Drew Peralta was allowed to score to give the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead and Miguel Montero advanced to second base. It turned out to be a vital play as the Cubs went on to lose by a 3-2 margin.
Video of the play:
Prior to the catch, Rizzo had broken a scoreless tie with a solo home run off of Josh Collmenter in the top of the sixth inning. He now has 23 homers along with 53 RBI and a .281/.384/.522 slash line. The Cubs received Rizzo in the trade that sent Andrew Cashner to the Padres back in January 2012.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.