Official scorer bails out Anthony Rizzo after error sparks Yankees' loss to Angels

Here we go again...
New York Yankees v San Diego Padres
New York Yankees v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

On Tuesday night at a house of horrors in Anaheim, the Yankees' two current recurring issues both came to light concurrently: Anthony Rizzo, and the lack of bullpen depth. With this roster the way it is -- and, admittedly, the "way it is" is 37-19, but so are the Orioles, basically -- it's particularly painful to mutter the thing all fans said on Tuesday: "Wait, we used Clay Holmes and Luke Weaver and we still lost? Ah, shit." Wednesday had better be a blowout win. Otherwise...

Of course, a loss wasn't really on the table in a one-run game until Rizzo intervened.

With a runner on first (Mickey Moniak, pinch-running for -- who else? -- Willie Calhoun) and two outs in the eighth, Luke Weaver appeared ready to hand a clean ninth inning against the heart of the order to Clay Holmes, no guarantee in its own right with a one-run lead. Instead, two runners ended up on base, as Rizzo dove at a relatively easy-to-corral grounder, knocked it further away from him, and allowed Luis Rengifo to reach base safely.

Taylor Ward, now facing Holmes, cashed in with a first-pitch, two-run double, and that was that. The Yankees had once again made the 20-33 Angels look like the Rally Monkey Angels, as they're wont to do in this ballpark, where they're 2-9 over their past several trips.

After the game, while the Yankees were being forced with difficult questions about their starting first baseman, the official scorer in the building decided to throw him a bone. Not an error, actually. A "base hit" -- and sorry, Luke, but your ERA just went up a half-run. Reliever Life, am I right?!

Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo makes game-changing error...oh, ok, it was actually a game-changing...hit?

Somehow, this is the second time this season that Rizzo has had a clear error changed to a hit. This one was even more obvious than his April flub behind Carlos Rodón, which temporarily raised the lefty's ERA by over a full run.

Whether it's a hit or an error (it's an error), the Yankees officially have a problem at first base, and one that cannot easily be solved. DJ LeMahieu can slide over from time to time, but without Jon Berti for 6-8 weeks (at least), that means no alternative to Oswaldo Cabrera at third, who's regressed into an offensive non-threat. Ben Rice could theoretically be called up from Double-A, but that would mark the first time the Yankees would've called up a 12th-round rookie from Dartmouth to be their starting first baseman in a pennant race since baseball's invention. It's a fine solution in the realm of online simulations, but it's extremely unlikely that Rice will be handed the keys.

Instead, it's time for the Yankees to at least find a viable backup for Rizzo and his ninth percentile bat speed and icy cold expected offensive stats (yeesh). This problem isn't going away anytime soon, no matter how hard the official scorer tries.