Good guy Anthony Rizzo shared a nice moment with umpire Angel Hernandez in NLCS Game 4
Baseball's unwritten rules can get a bit unwieldy and confusing at times, but there is one basic entry that everyone knows to live by: Don't show up the umpire. It's as much common sense as it is common decency. Nothing good can come from a player annoying the men in blue.
However, in the postseason, emotions run high and every pitch feels as if it could be the one that decides the ultimate outcome for a team's season. It's not that the "Don't show up the ump!" rule goes out the window, but it can become more challenging to follow.
In Wednesday night's NLCS Game 4, Anthony Rizzo was leading off the top of the fifth for the Cubs. Although the Cubs held a healthy 4-0 lead, stakes were still high, as there was more than enough time left for the Dodgers to come back. Rizzo worked the count 3-0 and then launched a ball home-run distance, but foul. He stepped back in the box and took an inside fastball which he thought was ball four.
Statcast thought it was a strike:
And, more importantly, home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez thought it was a strike. Before Hernandez called it a strike, though, Rizzo dropped his bat and began to head to first base.
Fortunately for Rizzo, Hernandez's call actually turned out to be a good thing, as he was able to do this to the next pitch:
Despite the positive outcome, Rizzo clearly felt bad about showing up Hernandez and decided to say as much the next time he came up to bat. As Rizzo attempted to apologize, Angel Hernandez swiftly cut him off with a "C'mon, you're good, bro... You're competing. I understand. Don't worry. And you know what's the best of it? You come back and you tell me that. That's how good of a guy you are." It was a really nice moment of kindness from both men and you can listen to the full exchange in the video up top.
The Cubs ultimately won the game, 10-2, to pull even with the Dodgers at two games apiece. Tonight, Rizzo and the Cubs will try to take control of the NLCS in Game 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.