After several pickoff attempts, Anthony Rizzo caught Rich Hill napping and stole second
Anthony Rizzo is known for a lot of things -- hitting dingers, scaling Wrigley Field and his budding career as a vocalist. One thing the Cubs' All-Star first baseman is not known for: stealing bases. Sure, Rizzo swiped 17 bags in 2015, but he has just 36 total over his six-year career, and his last successful steal was way back in July against the Mariners.
And yet, when Rizzo walked in the top of the second inning of NLCS Game 3 on Tuesday, Dodgers starter Rich Hill was oddly preoccupied with him. Hill threw over to first base not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times -- but Rizzo wasn't taking much of a lead, and got back with plenty of room to spare. Finally, Hill's catcher, Yasmani Grandal, came out to deliver a message: There was nothing to worry about here.
... but that was just what Rizzo wanted everyone to think.
He knew that the focus was off him, so immediately after Grandal's visit to the mound, Rizzo got a big lead and was off as soon as Hill started his motion: Statcast™ measured his secondary lead -- how far from first base he was when the pitcher released the ball -- at 26.3 feet, well ahead of the average for successful basestealers in 2016 (23.1).
Rizzo's wheels aside, though, Game 3 belonged to the Dodgers -- behind six strong innings from Rich Hill, L.A. secured a 6-0 win and a 2-1 lead in the series. The two teams will be back at it for Game 4 on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1.