Anthony Rizzo probably did not see it coming -- he was set to hit leadoff against the New York Mets on Tuesday night. The first baseman has never been put in that situation throughout his entire career, so this road date seemed like an odd time to start. But manager Joe Maddon is known for tinkering with his lineup in strange ways. Once again, he pushed the correct button, inspiring the Chicago Cubs to a lead just two pitches into the game.

Anthony Rizzo at the plate

On the first pitch from Mets starter Zack Wheeler, Rizzo took a ball.

On the second pitch, he took the ball and sent it as deep into Citi Field as he could, smashing a home run to center field that measured 462 feet. In doing so, he became the first Cubs first baseman to hit a leadoff home run since Rick Monday did it; Monday accomplished the feat way back on September 11, 1976 -- over 40 years ago.

The Cubs have struggled as a whole this season. They were expected to dominate after their World Series triumph in 2016, but they're playing .500 ball, barely keeping pace with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

Rizzo himself has not been particularly good, hitting just .255 over the course of the year. He has been heating up over the past week, though. Maybe this home run is just what he -- and his team -- needed to get jump started for the rest of the season. It certainly helped for this particular game.

Cubs dominate first two innings

Beyond the Rizzo home run, the Cubs couldn't provide any offensive support for starter Jon Lester in the first inning. The Mets were able to take that run back in the bottom of the frame, sending the game to the second inning in a tie.

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That's when all hell broke loose at Citi Field, favoring Chicago.

With the bases loaded, Wheeler issued a walk to Rizzo, breaking the tie. Then, rookie Ian Happ did a world of damage, belting a grand slam to left center, breaking the game wide open. An Addison Russell double scored two more runs, putting the Cubs up 8-1 after two innings. Rizzo was able to get back in on the scoring act in the third inning, doubling home another run to push the deficit up to eight runs. At the end of three innings, Chicago was clobbering the Mets 9-1.

New York won the series opener on Monday night on the back of a strong start from ace Jacob deGrom; but they would have no such luck on Tuesday night, as Mets fans began heading toward the exits with at least two hours left to be played, leaving the cost efficiency of a ticket in no man's land.

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