3/8 Rizzo, Italy win
Viva Italia! Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Italy improved to 2-0 in the World Baseball Classic with a 14-4 win Friday over Canada at Chase Field. Rizzo went 0-for-3, but drove in a run in the first inning on a ground out. Italy scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the game was called because of mercy rule. Next up will be a meeting Saturday night against Team USA. The game is scheduled for Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Apparently, at least five of the Cubs players told Rizzo that if Italy won one game, they’d donate $500 to his charity.
If Italy advances, Rizzo may miss another week with the Cubs.
“If we lose him, he’s still playing anyways,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It’s the same as if he’d be playing here.”
Italy was the underdog in its pool, beating Mexico on Thursday and now Canada. Rizzo delivered a go-ahead two-run double in Thursday’s 6-5 win.
“You don’t get to have that feeling he got yesterday, the whole team, to be that big of an underdog and to win a game like that,” Sveum said. “He said his second baseman said, ‘Man, I’m going to have a heart attack out here.’”
– Carrie Muskat