Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’

5/2 Cubs 6, Cardinals 5

Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer and hit a two-run single to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 victory Friday over the Cardinals. Travis Wood picked up the win, and Welington Castillo added a two-run double. Castillo hit three doubles in the game, the first time a Cubs catcher has done that since Damon Berryhill on Sept. 16, 1990. Rizzo is batting .404 (19-for-47) at Wrigley Field in 14 games. He now has homered in back to back games for the first time since July 31-Aug. 1, 2013.

* Ryan Sweeney had to leave the game in the eighth after making a catch on the warning track. He was to have an MRI on his right hamstring. The Cubs are expected to make a roster move and most likely will add outfielder Chris Coghlan from Triple-A Iowa.

* The Cubs will make another roster move on Saturday when they add pitcher Jake Arrieta, who is scheduled to start. The team has been carrying 13 pitchers and that is unlikely to change.

* Starlin Castro is batting .417 (10-for-24) with two doubles, two homers and five RBIs in six games since moving to the cleanup spot in the lineup. The Rizzo-Castro one-two punch impressed St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright.

“I think they’ve both always been dangerous,” Wainwright said. “Rizzo’s always played us very tough, even when he wasn’t hitting other people well. He’s always taken great at-bats off us. I think he’s got tremendous talent, and Castro, how many times has he had 200 hits? A few times already. I always think he’s a dangerous hitter.”

* The Cubs now are 2-2 against the Cardinals this season.

– Carrie Muskat

4/21 Rizzo’s “Cook-off for Cancer” on May 16

Tickets are now on sale for Anthony Rizzo’s second “Cook-Off for Cancer” fundraiser, which will take place May 16, 6-10 p.m. CT at Revel Downtown, 440 W Randolph, Chicago. Last year’s event sold out and raised more than $150,000 to help and support families with children fighting cancer. Rizzo and his Cubs teammates will be serving food and competing for tips among patrons.

Participating chefs include: Lee Ann Whippen of Chicago q, Mario Hernandez of Del Frisco’s, Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish and Oyster, Joseph Farina of Joe’s Fish, David Burns of Levy Restaurants, Molly Johnson of Limelight Catering, Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno, Cosmo Goss of Publican, Doug Psaltis of RPM Italian, Doug Tomek of Uncle Dougies, and Joseph Heppe of Untitled 111.

All tips and event net proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer research, care and support, a cause close to home for Rizzo and his family.
The first baseman was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 18, and endured six months of chemotherapy. On Sept. 2, 2008, Rizzo was told he was in remission.

“Fighting cancer is a battle for the entire family,” Rizzo said. “The child endures the cancer treatments but it’s his or her family struggling to pay all the bills, shuttling back and forth to appointments, and hurting for their child.”

Cook-Off for Cancer tickets are $200 per person with limited number of tables available for $1,200. For tickets and information, visit http://www.cubs.com/cook.

4/20 Extra bases: Baez, Riz, Olt & more

* Top prospect Javier Baez was activated from Triple-A Iowa’s disabled list on Sunday and in the lineup as the designated hitter. Baez had not played since April 10. He injured his left ankle taking ground balls on April 11. In eight games, Baez was 4-for-26 with two home runs and 10 strikeouts.

* Anthony Rizzo entered Sunday’s game batting .464 at Wrigley Field, while teammate Starlin Castro was hitting .424 at home. They rank among the National League leaders in home batting average.

“Their two-strike approaches are pretty good,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Rizzo and Castro. “‘Riz’ in particular with two strikes is choking up a little now and trying not to be so pull conscious and takes what they give him. It’s more of a mindset. You have to make an adjustment and as you improve as big league players, you know there are things you have to work on.

“He’s come to a conclusion that some of the things he’s doing are helping him,” Renteria said. “With offense, there are peaks and valleys to them, but so far, he’s had a consistent approach.”

* Renteria abandoned his usual lefty-righty platoon on Sunday, and has Mike Olt starting at third base against righty Homer Bailey.

“I’ve been trying over time with all the guys to give them some days when they go back to back,” Renteria said. “It gives them a better view and a little more comfortable. The reality is they’re going to face lefties and righties, and you’ve got to give them an opportunity to use some games back to back to get some kind of comfort.”

* The Cubs will celebrate Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary on Wednesday. Sue Quigg, grand-niece of former Cubs owner Charles Weeghman, will throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch, and use the 100-year-old ball her grandmother Dessa Weeghman threw at a Chi-Feds game a century ago. The first 30,000 fans will receive replica Chi-Feds jerseys, and the first 10,000 fans will get a birthday cupcake.

– Carrie Muskat

4/20 Rizzo starts at 1B

* Mike Olt took grounders at first base early Sunday just in case Anthony Rizzo was still bothered by back spasms, which forced him out of Saturday’s game.

“I told him not to,” Rizzo said, joking. “That’s my position.”

Rizzo was in the Cubs’ lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Reds. He was pulled from Saturday’s game in the eighth inning because of the back problems, which he said started “barking” in the fifth or sixth innings.

“He felt he’d be fine [Sunday] and came in and said he felt good,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.

– Carrie Muskat

4/20 Cubs lineup

Happy Easter Sunday. Carlos Villanueva gets the start in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds. Here’s the lineup — and keep in mind that left-handed batters are hitting .538 off Homer Bailey:

Bonifacio CF
Sweeney LF
Rizzo 1B
Schierholtz RF
Castro SS
Olt 3B
Castillo C
Barney 2B
Villanueva P

* Anthony Rizzo says he’s fine after coming out of Saturday’s game with back spasms. However, Mike Olt did take grounders at first base on Sunday, just in case.

4/19 Rizzo lifted with back spasms

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo had to leave Saturday’s game because of back spasms but did not expect to miss Sunday’s series finale against the Reds.

“It just started barking on me in the fifth or sixth, and once we took the four-run lead, I [decided to] play with more caution than go up there, get another at-bat and go out on the field and hurt it even more,” Rizzo said.

He was lifted defensively in the eighth inning, and Mike Olt moved from third to first.

Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Rizzo might have aggravated his back stretching for a high throw on a pickoff attempt.

“I felt it a little bit [Friday],” Rizzo said. “It’ll probably be gone tomorrow or the next day. The play on the pickoff that was kind of high, that’s when it started barking the most.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/7 Join Rizzo at “Cook Off for Cancer”

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will host his second “Cook Off for Cancer” on May 16 at Revel Downtown, 440 W. Randolph, Chicago. Fans can join Cubs players and coaches as they serve upscale ballpark food prepared by some of Chicago’s top chefs. Fans will vote for their favorite chef or dish by tipping the Cubs server. The list of chefs participating include:

Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno
Doug Tomek, Uncle Dougies
Guiseppe Tentori, GT Fish and Oyster
Mario Hernandez, Del Frisco’s
Doug Psaltis, RPM Italian
David Burns, Levy Restaurants
Joseph Heppe, Untitled 111
Molly Johnson, Limelight Catering
Cosmo Goss, Publican
Joseph Farina, Joe’s Fish
Lee Ann Whippen, Chicago q

Tickets are $200 person, or $1,200 for a table. To purchase a ticket or make a donation, visit Cubs.com/Cook

3/31 Game 1: Pirates 1, Cubs 0

Neil Walker spoiled Rick Renteria’s managerial debut. Walker smacked a walkoff home run in the 10th inning Monday to lift the Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs on a sun-splashed day at PNC Park. Walker connected on a 3-2 pitch from Carlos Villanueva, who won the fifth spot in the rotation, but was not scheduled to start until Sunday. It was Walker’s first career walkoff hit.

The Cubs had chances, stranding eight batters in the game, and went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Renteria made his managerial debut in front of 39,833, the largest regular season crowd in PNC Park history. He also was the first to use expanded instant replay in the history of Major League Baseball when he challenged a play at first base in the fifth inning.

This was Jeff Samardzija’s second straight Opening Day start, and second in a row at PNC Park. One year ago, he gave up two hits over eight shutout innings in the Cubs’ win. On Monday, he threw seven shutout innings.

“You can only control what you can control,” Samardzija said about the lack of offense. “[Pitchers] have a bat, too. We have a say in how it turns out. We need to take advantage of every opportunity we get. Ultimately, we’re out there pitching and that’s our job. We’re not here to speculate, we’re not here to say this or that. We’re pitchers and we’re out there to pitch. These guys are working hard and we have their back 100 percent. The quicker we can get them in the dugout, the better chance we have to score some runs.”

Renteria, 52, has come full circle. He made his big league debut at Three Rivers Stadium with the Pirates on Sept. 14, 1986, against the Cubs.

The Cubs batted .218 last year with RISP, worst in the National League. Anthony Rizzo doesn’t expect a repeat of that.

“We’re a very confident group,” Rizzo said. “It’s a good thing. There’s a lot of good energy in the dugout and the clubhouse before the game. It’s a tough loss, obviously, but it’s one game. No one’s going home yet. It’s nice to have the energy in here. Runs will be scored.”

– Carrie Muskat

3/25 Edwards: My nerves were crazy

C.J. Edwards was nervous Tuesday night. He had more than a week to prepare for his first Cactus League start, and had taken the advice of his father, who told him to pray and meditate. Edwards tried to visualize his approach.

“My dad actually helped me get ready for this game,” Edwards said.

But Edwards’ father was back in Prosperity, S.C., and the pitcher had to rely on Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio and catcher John Baker, who both told Edwards to just keep doing what he had been doing. The slender right-hander was a combined 8-2 with a 1.86 ERA last season at Class A Hickory and High A Daytona. He joined the Cubs in July after being dealt from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal. Most of the Cubs front office, including Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, were in the stands in Peoria on Tuesday night to watch Edwards. He didn’t see them because Edwards says he has great “tunnel vision.” The 22-year-old had enough to think about.

“I went out there the first inning, and nerves were crazy,” Edwards said of his start against the Padres. “I can’t even explain the nerves I had. Overall being out there, I felt like I should be out there.”

He retired the first batter, and Seth Smith singled, but Edwards got Kyle Blanks to hit into a double play and end the inning. The second wasn’t as smooth as Xavier Nady singled to lead off and reached third on an error by Ryan Kalish. Rene Rivera hit a sacrifice fly, and Edwards then walked the next two batters. That prompted a visit from Bosio.

Edwards regrouped and got a ground out, and then struck out Andrew Cashner to end the inning. In the third, Edwards again retired the first batter, then Smith singled and Blanks walked. Bosio again came to the mound along with all the infielders. Edwards caught his breath, then served up a double to Nady and a sacrifice fly before he was lifted.

As Edwards walked off the field, Baker said something to him.

“His exact words were, ‘Hey, you did a hell of a job, man, and you’ve got a bright future ahead. Just stay with it,’” Edwards said, smiling.

A lot of players are so overcome by the moment that they admit they’re shaking the first time on a mound in a big league game.

“I actually wasn’t that nervous on the mound,” he said. “After I came in the first inning, my right knee just started going by itself and I was trying to look around and hold it down, but it didn’t work, so I let it bounce.”

Edwards also got advice from first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who came over to the mound in the second after the pitcher walked two in a row.

“He comes up to me, and he goes, ‘Hey, do you want to play first base?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s switch,’” Edwards said.

But they didn’t. It wasn’t just Baker or Rizzo, it was everyone on the Cubs giving Edwards support. They’ve all been there.

“Overall, the guys were behind me 100 percent and they have faith in me,” he said.

The Cubs just have to figure out a way to add some muscle to his skinny body. He weighed 165 on Tuesday, no change from January when he admitted he’s been eating everything in sight. In fact, he gorged on a large order of French toast at the Breakfast Club in Scottsdale on Tuesday morning. He couldn’t finish the eggs and sausage but did eat all the bread.

He could relax once his outing was over.

“Like I tell everybody, I enjoyed it,” Edwards said. “I feel I can be out there any time to help the club when the time comes. The guys that we have up are already doing great. We’ll have our ups and downs but we’ll go out there each and every day 110 percent. When that day comes and I get the call, I feel I’ll be ready to come up there.”

Hopefully, Tuesday’s start will make it easier when he does get promoted.

“Now, I feel my first game there [at Wrigley Field], I won’t be as nervous, but then again, it’ll be Chicago, and there will be over 100 thousand fans there,” he said, over-estimating the ballpark’s attendance by about 60,000. “It’s a little different here. It was wonderful. The outcome wasn’t good but overall just being around those guys was fantastic.”

Edwards isn’t sure where he’ll open the 2014 season, although the Cubs have said it could be Double-A Tennessee. He can only hope he’s matched up with his roommates, like Duane Underwood, who made the drive to Peoria to cheer on the right-hander. There were more people in the stands than in Edwards’ hometown.

“I believe there was,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

3/25 Good eyes

One of the perks of the Cubs’ new complex in Mesa is that there’s room for a Ping-Pong table, and there have been some competitive matches. One of the top players so far in camp is Darwin Barney, who has beaten Jake Arrieta four times and won two out of three best-of-five series against Anthony Rizzo.

“Riz and I both use it as a warm up for our eyes,” Barney said. “It’s very valuable for hand-eye coordination.”

It gets the competitive juices going, too.

– Carrie Muskat

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