On his second day with the Yankees, first baseman Anthony Rizzo was back in focus as he helped New York beat the Marlins 4-2 on Saturday night.
Rizzo went 2 for 2 in the game, based five times, and scored his second home run as a Yankee. Since joining the Yankees on Friday, Rizzo has been 4-for-5 with three walks, one hit by pitch and five runs.
“He’s a goalkeeper,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “What can you say? He’s been great with a couple of home runs. He’s had really good bats every time. He’s been out every time tonight, and he’s really good over there on first base.”
“The heat of the chase definitely enlivened him, and he walked in and blended into the room.”
Boone isn’t surprised that Rizzo fits in with the Yankees in just two days. Rizzo has a presence for him and the ability to connect with everyone on the team.
“He’s got the balance between being a real gamer and being laid back and relaxed,” said Boone. “I think everyone hugged him right away. He’s incredibly comfortable growing up a Yankee fan and directly livened up into a pennant race. I think he’s one of those people who really live for it. “
Rizzo said August dog days are approaching and it will be a crunch. He also said that when the month of September rolls around it will be a different game.
“Every game gets more intense the further you go,” said Rizzo. “It’s fun. That’s what you play baseball for. Coming to New York and joining this team that has been very successful over the years is great and a good feeling.”
After being hit by a pitch in the second inning on Saturday, Rizzo hit Odor on a single by Rougned. Three innings later, Rizzo was the reason the Yankees broke a 2-2 draw. He started with a single and later scored on a wild place by right-handed Anthony Bender.
In the seventh inning, Rizzo flexed his muscles and hit a mammoth homerun-off reliever Steven Okert to increase the lead to two runs. The ball traveled 410 feet, according to the statcast. If he’s at home in the series finale on Sunday, Rizzo will hit the longest homerun streak to begin a Yankees career, Dave Kingman’s three-game streak in 1977.
Rizzo has already done something no other Yankees player has ever done. He’s the first to hit the base eight times in his first two games with the franchise.
“I can only tell you that you [Rizzo] here – it’s a good deal, ”said Domingo German, right-handed Yankees, of the interpreter Marlon Abreu. “You can see what kind of player he is. Defensively, he shows how important the defense is. He’s a good hitter too. Friendly person. Having him has changed in a positive way. “
Rizzo showed his new team that he could pick it on the first base. In the second inning, the Marlins had runners on the first and second with an out. With Lewis Brinson at the plate, Germán threw the ball on the plate. After catcher Gary Sánchez caught the ball, it threw at Rizzo, who quickly switched Bryan De La Cruz for the second out of the inning. Brinson then struck to end the threat.
Rizzo paid tribute to Sánchez for getting out.
“[Sánchez] looks at me and I kind of looked at him. I tried to give him a made-up sign, ”said Rizzo. “… We both communicated it and [it] was a perfect match. I think he gets all the credit for that. … Domingo was stuck in a traffic jam, and so were we [got] two pitches after that. It was definitely good for us. “
After Sunday’s game, Rizzo will play against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. He can’t wait to play in front of the team’s fans.
“I was there in ’14 and it was freezing cold for a double header in April,” said Rizzo. “I’m definitely happy to see this atmosphere, to be on the home page. Just go there and be on your way – see the clubhouse, see how it works. “