Anthony Rizzo joins Cy Young conversation after striking out Freddie Freeman with nasty curve

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo showed off his nasty curveball and wicked heater when he struck out Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Jacob deGrom has some serious competition for the Cy Young Award.

Anthony Rizzo is already the self-proclaimed greatest leadoff hitter of all time and he has an argument he is the best middle reliever too.

With a sterling 0.00 ERA on the line, Rizzo stepped to the mound in the 7th inning against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night with the Chicago Cubs in the middle of a drubbing.

The highlight of the night for the Cubs came when Rizzo stared down the reigning National League MVP and unleashed every pitch in his arsenal.

Anthony Rizzo just joined the Cy Young Award conversation

Rizzo uncorked a vicious 74 MPH heater reminiscent of high school sophomores and caught Freeman off-balance. He had no idea what to do. With limited video of Rizzo available for Freeman to study beforehand, Freeman had to work off his instincts.

Freeman just couldn’t expect the tendencies from Rizzo in a 2-2 count. Would he come back with another 74 MPH fastball? Would he deliver a filthy slider off the edge of the plate? Would he throw some breaking stuff in the dirt, hoping Freeman would chase?

Rizzo just relied on his pure stuff when he snapped off a 61 MPH Uncle Charlie to get Freeman swinging and get the biggest strikeout in the history of baseball. No hyperbole.

If the Cubs bullpen continues to struggle, manager David Ross should definitely put Rizzo’s left arm to use as a short reliever in the highest-of-leverage situations. In a contract year, it’s only going to add to Rizzo’s resume as he seeks a new contract.

Rizzo’s strikeout of Freeman marks the first time a position player K’d a reigning MVP since Matt Davison of the Chicago White Sox got Giancarlo Stanton to whiff in his first year with the New York Yankees in 2017.

I would have thought it wouldn’t have been so recent, but it’s a pretty fun fact nonetheless.

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