New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo authored the first three-homer game of his career on Tuesday night in his team's win over the Orioles (NYY 12, BAL 8). In doing so he took sole possession of the MLB lead in home runs with eight on the season.
Rizzo's first multi-homer game as a Yankee and 20th of his career got started with this short-porch special in the third off Jordan Lyles:
That three-run homer traveled a mere 346 feet and wouldn't have been a home run in any other major-league park. It counts, however.
Slightly more authoritative was his homer in the fifth, also off Lyles:
That one, his MLB-leading seventh, went 378 feet and left the bat at almost 100 mph.
Related, at least at the time:
Anthony Rizzo now has more home runs than the Orioles (6) and as many as the Tigers (7) this season.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 27, 2022
Finally, in the eighth, Rizzo enjoyed another short-porch job for his third and final tater of the evening:
Home run No. 3 on the night went just 327 feet, which makes it a product of Yankee Stadium. But, yes, it counts. What's the proper reaction when you hit a 327-foot home run? This, mostly:
With that final one, Rizzo became the first Yankee first baseman to homer three times in a game since Mark Teixiera in 2010. As well, there's this:
As you would expect given his eight homers in 17 games, Rizzo is putting up big numbers in this, his age-32 season. He's now slashing .283/.411/.733. Coming into Tuesday night, he boasted an OPS+ of 181 for the season, so this is more than "just" one explosive night with the bat.
The Yankees originally acquired Rizzo from the Cubs leading up to last year's trade deadline. That was Rizzo's walk year, and this past offseason, the Yankees brought him back on a one-year, $16 million deal that includes a player option for 2023. Thus far, the Yanks are no doubt pleased with their investment, as Rizzo has been their most productive hitter by a substantial margin.
At the plate, Rizzo, a three-time All-Star, has performed at a truly elite level – at least by the standards of first basemen – since 2019. In 2022, however, he's laid down the foundation of a big season.