Another Bartman? Cubs fan gets in Anthony Rizzo’s way on foul pop in 9th

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The Cubs beat the Pirates 7-6 in 10 innings on Wednesday night to stay in first place in the National League Central.But fans on Twitter were buzzing about another fan becoming part of the action, a la Steve Bartman in Game 6 of the 2003 NL Championship Series.With one out, a runner on first and the Cubs leading 6-4 in the ninth inning,the Pirates’ Francisco Cervelli hit a foul pop-up that drifted into the seats. Rizzo reached over the wall and around the protective screen to make the catch, and the ball was partly in his glove. But a fan in the front row made the grab, practically taking the ball away from Rizzo.Realizing he didn’t catch it, Rizzo pounded his fist into his glove.

Though the umpire initially called Cervelli out thinking Rizzo made the catch, he didn’t call out Cervelli because of fan interference. According to Rule 6.01(e) in the Major League Baseball rule book, ‘‘No interference shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.’’‘‘I thought I caught it. It’s just one of those weird plays,’’ said Rizzo, who seemed sensitive to singling out a fan when asked if the ball was taken from him. ‘‘I don’t know. It was a big win for this team. That’s all I’m really worried about, is getting this win and coming back after giving up a lead there.’’Cervelli then doubled, putting runners on second and third. After Adam Frazier popped out to shortstop Javy Baez, Starling Marte doubled with two strikes to tie the score.The Cubs made the foul-ball folly moot In the 10th. Ian Happ led off with a walk, and Terrance Gore replaced him as a pinch runner. Gore advanced to second on Mike Freeman’s sacrifice bunt and to third on Victor Caratini’s groundout to first. Then Albert Almora Jr. won it with a single to left.

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