The Yankees had been off for the day, the Cubs had been on tv and Marcus Thames couldn’t flip away from Anthony Rizzo’s at-bat.
As Rizzo fouled off pitch after pitch earlier than ending with the flourish of a house run throughout a May sport for the Cubs, Thames most likely felt hitting coach-envy witnessing a wonderfully in-line approach with what he teaches for the Yankees. Flash ahead a pair months and there was Rizzo, in his third residence sport at Yankee Stadium, battling his solution to a 13-pitch stroll Wednesday as Thames loved a dugout view.
“I was just saying the pitcher had nowhere else to go,” Thames stated. “It’s just wearing the pitcher down. He and his teammates get a chance to see every single pitch, and it helps you throughout the game. Being able to see every pitch from a guy makes you feel a lot more comfortable.”
Despite going hitless in four at-bats in a 5-3 win Thursday in opposition to the Mariners, Rizzo is hitting .333 with three residence runs – one in his first at-bat after the 13th-pitch stroll in opposition to the Orioles – and a 1.160 OPS by seven video games since he was acquired finally week’s commerce deadline.
Rizzo has been the right slot in each method: His endurance on the plate is harking back to nice Yankees hitters who thrived on operating up pitch counts and moving into center reduction, his left-handed swing balanced the right-handed-heavy lineup, his World Series-winning management took additional duty off others and his Gold Glove-winning protection solidified the infield.
“His approach at the plate is solid,” Thames stated. “He knows what the pitcher is trying to do, he is going to stick with his plan, and he’s not going to let the pitcher dictate to get him off what he wants to do.”
Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge all rank within the high 10 within the American League in pitches confronted per plate look, so, the place Rizzo’s endurance may need stood out with the freer-swinging Cubs, it’s the norm in the course of the Yankees’ lineup. In the clubhouse, he may need wanted 5 entire minutes to search out his footing after 10 years in Chicago.
“I can’t say [I felt] instantly comfortable,” Rizzo stated. “I think when you stay somewhere for so long, the sudden change is … just the unknown. I was able to lean on just playing baseball, not having to really change my game and what I do. It’s a lot easier when you guys are so professional and so welcoming.”
While Yankees followers have been wowed by Rizzo’s energy surge, the actual music to Thames’ ear was a dialog within the dugout with a runner on second base and no outs.
“He’s like, ‘I have to at least get that guy over. I want to knock him in, but if I can just get him to third with less than two outs we have a chance to score a run,’ ” Thames stated. “Just those little things he’s talking to his teammates about is going to help us a lot.”
It’s part of the sport Rizzo enjoys.
“The baseball talk has been really nice, and even getting to know guys on a personal level,” Rizzo stated. “It’s all new and it’s all fun. Just continuing to be myself and talk the game and give some of my experiences and learn from other guys’ experiences.”
Thames and Gallo spent additional time within the video room going over the finer factors earlier than Gallo’s go-ahead three-run residence run Thursday offered his first massive second in pinstripes. With Rizzo’s scorching bat, Thames’ objective is simply to be the “extra set of eyes” and “stay out of the way.”
“I feel like with all the experience of just playing a lot of seasons has definitely paid off for this moment,” Rizzo stated, “to just be able to come in here and play at this level, at Yankee Stadium, on this stage.”