Anthony Rizzo bats leadoff for first time, then homers in first at-bat

Batting leadoff was always an intriguing thought for Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, so when he got his chance Tuesday night against the New York Mets he took advantage of it.

Rizzo homered off of Zack Wheeler to open the game in his first career plate appearance hitting leadoff.

"I always mess around saying I'll lead off, I'll lead off,'" Rizzo said before the game. "I also say I can pitch and play the outfield, too."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon finally acquiesced mostly because his team's offense has been stuck in a season long rut and no one else has stepped up in replacing Dexter Fowler at the top of the order.

"If everything is in place and in order I probably would not have done that," Maddon said.

The Cubs began the season with Kyle Schwarber leading off, but his .170 batting average saw him get dropped. Rookie Ian Happ had a chance in the leadoff spot for a while, but he's hitting .207 going into Tuesday's game. With Ben Zobrist nursing a sore wrist it opened the door for Rizzo.

"I'll be up there, ready to go," Rizzo said. "I'll enjoy it. I'll have fun with it."

Rizzo is the first Cubs first baseman to lead off a game with a home run since Rick Monday in 1976.

He came up to the plate in his next at-bat one inning later with the bases loaded and walked, which was followed by a grand slam by Happ.

Maddon was asked what would happen if the lineup worked on Tuesday.

"You'll see it tomorrow," he quipped.