Results tagged ‘ Anthony Rizzo ’
The Cubs saw first-hand why the Cardinals are the best team in baseball at the All-Star break. St. Louis pounded a season-high 21 hits off the Cubs, including a go-ahead RBI single by Allen Craig with one out in the ninth and a three-run homer by Yadier Molina that inning, to post a 10-6 come from behind victory and split the series.
“That’s a great team over there, from top to bottom, even with [Matt] Holliday out,” Chicago starter and All-Star Travis Wood said. “They’ve got guys stepping in and filling the spots and doing an outstanding job. You’ve got to bring your ‘A’ game every time you face them.”
Wood did just that, holding the Cardinals to three runs over 5 2/3 innings, and falling one out shy of becoming the first Cubs pitcher ever to record 18 quality starts before the All-Star break. His 17 quality starts lead the Majors, and he’s the fourth Cubs pitcher in franchise history to have that many at the break, joining Bill Hands (1969), Fergie Jenkins (1969) and Greg Maddux (1988).
“When a guy has done what Travis has done, that’s our horse, and that’s our most consistent guy,” Dale Sveum said.
Wood reached 100 pitches when he walked Allen Craig with one on and two outs in the fifth. Pedro Strop took over, and needed just one pitch to end the inning, getting David Freese to ground out.
“It was just time,” Sveum said about his decision to pull Wood.
The Cubs needed nearly every pitcher as they tried to keep the Cardinals in check.
Chicago trailed 3-1 in the sixth against All-Star Adam Wainwright when Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic hit back to back singles. One out later, Darwin Barney, who hit a RBI single in the second, launched the first pitch into the basket rimming the left field bleachers for his sixth home run. According to ESPN, the ball traveled 366 feet and would not have gone out of any other Major League ballpark except Wrigley Field.
“Barney’s home run was huge at a huge time,” Sveum said. “We had the bullpen set up. You’ve got to give their hitters a lot of credit. That’s why they’re the best hitting team in baseball. But [Pete] Kozma hits one off his thumbs that bloops in and took the momentum away from us.”
That was part of the Cardinals’ seventh inning rally against Matt Guerrier. Molina doubled and scored one out later on Kozma’s single that dropped over shortstop Starlin Castro. One out later, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso singled to chase Guerrier, and Matt Carpenter greeted James Russell with a go-ahead RBI single.
Matt Adams added a RBI double in the eighth, driving in David Freese from second. Anthony Rizzo cut off Castro’s relay throw home, cutting off a possible play at the plate.
“I don’t know why he was there,” Sveum said of Rizzo. “That’s not really protocal in our playbook.”
Rizzo said he usually looks behind him to see where the catcher is, but didn’t this time.
“It would’ve been a close play,” Rizzo said.
“That didn’t lose the game for us,” Barney said. “They swung the bats a little better than we did. You can’t take anything away from them or say we did anything wrong. They had more good swings than we did in the end.”
The Cubs did rally again with one out in the eighth as pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie singled in his debut, and one out later, his former Oregon State teammate, Barney, singled, to set up pinch-hitter Cody Ransom’s two-run double off Edward Mujica, named to the All-Star Game late Sunday.
With the game tied at 6 and one out in the St. Louis ninth against Kevin Gregg, Carlos Beltran doubled to right and reached third on an error charged to Dave Sappelt, who lost his footing. Beltran tallied on Craig’s single and Freese then singled to set up Molina’s home run, his seventh.
“Yadi is unbelievable,” Barney said.
The Cubs end the first half 42-51, and 15 games back in the NL Central behind the Cardinals. Wood was given the go-ahead to take part in the All-Star Game. Tuesday would be his side day.
– Carrie Muskat
It’s been a crazy first half for Edwin Jackson, who seems to have found his groove. Jackson held the Cardinals to three hits over seven shutout innings to win his third straight start and Anthony Rizzo had two hits and three RBIs to lift the Cubs to a 3-0 victory Thursday.
The Cardinals boast the best record in baseball, but that didn’t seem to faze Jackson. The right-hander, who helped St. Louis win the World Series in 2011, struck out five and did not walk a batter. This was the first start this season in which he did not issue a walk, and the first time since Sept. 21 with the Nationals.
It was a good ending to what has been an inconsistent first half for Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal this offseason, his first long-term contract.
“Tonight, he was really sharp against the best offense in baseball,” manager Dale Sveum said of Jackson. “He had a lot more conviction with his pitches, and wasn’t worred about pitching as much as throwing. He pitched well tonight, had command, was hitting his spots, and had a really good slider. He got ahead, which I think was the biggest thing.”
After opening the season 3-10 with a 5.84 ERA in his first 15 starts, Jackson now is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last three outings. How do you eliminate slow starts?
“If you had the answer to those things, we’d be a heck of a lot richer,” Sveum said.
“This is probably the craziest start I’ve ever had in baseball,” Jackson said. “It’s a game of grinding it out and as long as you believe you have the confidence that you can come in and turn things around, that’s all that matters. No one expected me to start like I did — myself, the front office, the team, my manager. It’s a game, you have to keep grinding. You can sink or you can swim. I’m definitely one of those guys who won’t give up.”
He could have. Teams were batting .286 against him in those first 15 games, and were hitting .203 in his last three.
“I never did lose confidence, even in the bad starts I had,” Jackson said. “You just have to work harder to get back to where you want to be.”
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo is back in the No. 3 spot in the lineup Saturday for the Cubs’ game against the Pirates.
“Losing [Ryan] Sweeney and [Brian] Bogusevic changes a lot of things,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We had the luxury of people hitting behind people, and
left-handers hitting behind people, and without those two guys in the lineup, it kind of changes things a little bit. We have to get somebody hitting behind Rizzo. [The changes are] more of the cosmetics of the team than anything.”
Bogusevic (hamstring) is still day to day, but improving.
Here’s the lineup:
E. Jackson P
– Carrie Muskat
Here’s the Cubs’ lineup for Friday’s game vs. the first-place Pirates. Dioner Navarro moves into the No. 3 spot in the lineup after a successful road trip. Here’s the lineup:
* The Cubs had a successful road trip, but some of the players did not. Here are the batting averages from the nine-game trip to Milwaukee, Seattle and Oakland:
Darwin Barney .182 (6-for-33)
Welington Castillo .208 (5-for-24)
Starlin Castro .306 (11-for-36), HR, double, two RBIs
Scott Hairston .000 (DNP)
Dioner Navarro .364 (8-for-22)
Cody Ransom .000 (0-for-4)
Anthony Rizzo .182 (6-for-33), four doubles, four RBIs (last homer, June 23)
Nate Schierholtz .179 (7-for-39)
Alfonso Soriano .333 (10-for-30), 3 HRs
Luis Valbuena .237 (9-for-38)
* Jake Arrieta joined Triple-A Iowa and will start Friday against Albuquerque in his Cubs debut. The right-hander was acquired from the Orioles on Tuesday along with Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.
– Carrie Muskat
* The Cubs have 247 extra-base hits, second most in the NL behind the Rockies.
* Cubs pitchers have 46 quality starts, fourth-most in the NL.
* Scott Feldman picked up his 500th career strikeout when he fanned Jonathan Lucroy in the third. Nine of his 12 starts have been quality starts.
* Kevin Gregg is now 12-for-12 in save opportunities.
* Anthony Rizzo had a double, a single, a walk and two RBIs. This year, 36 of his 72 hits have gone for extra bases, and his 22 doubles rank among the NL leaders.
Anthony Rizzo celebrated the one-year anniversary of his call-up to the Cubs by hitting a two-run single, Ryan Sweeney added a solo home run and Kevin Gregg registered his 12th save in 12 tries to post a 5-4 victory against the Brewers, ending a nine-game losing streak at Miller Park.
Milwaukee made it interesting in the ninth. Chicago led 5-3 but Juan Francisco homered for the second time in as many nights, going deep off Gregg. Rickie Weeks doubled and moved up on a sacrifice but was forced at home, despite charging into catcher Welington Castillo like a linebacker. The Cubs were happy to take that out. Gennett then launched a ball to right, and Nate Schierholtz caught it in front of the warning track.
“What an ending,” Cubs starter Scott Feldman said. “It was nice to put that one away and keep everyone on their toes.”
“I’ll have to start shaving my head and face completely so you don’t see the gray [hair],” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “When that ball left [Gennett's] bat, I ain’t lying, I thought it was a homer, especially in this ballpark. I like that kid. He’s going to be a good Major League player. … I’ve seen him hit some bombs. That little guy can hit the ball a long way.”
Not this time.
“In this park, you never know,” Gregg said. “I knew it wasn’t hit well and that it wasn’t a no doubter. It plays pretty short over there [in right] at times. Luckily, it stayed in.”
Gregg, who the Cubs pitchers say is the calmest person on the planet, didn’t get rattled by Francisco’s homer.
“If we win by one every time, great, we win,” he said. “As a closer, you don’t want to give up any runs, but you want to win, first and foremost.”
Gregg has been a vast improvement over Carlos Marmol, who began the season as the Cubs closer but was designated for assignment on Tuesday.
“You have a calm [with Gregg] because you know he’s not going to implode with walks and stuff like that,” Sveum said. “They’re going to have to get their hits to beat him. The times that he’s given up a run, they’ve hit the ball. He doesn’t walk guys. He knows how to pitch. He knows, ‘If I throw stirkes, they have to get hits to beat me.’ We’ve seen many many closers over the years do a nice job just because they don’t walk anybody.”
Released by the Dodgers after a solid Spring Training, Gregg has filled the vacancy created by Marmol’s ineffectiveness and a season-ending injury to Kyuji Fujikawa.
“We’re pretty fortunate to have him,” Feldman said. “He brings a lot of stability to the back end of the bullpen and also just having a veteran like that who’s been through so much adversity and overcome it and is having one of the better seasons in his career right now. You can learn a lot from guys like that.”
The Cubs are lucky to have Feldman, who is drawing interest from playoff-bound teams.
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Feldman said of the trade rumors. “I’d love to stay on this team. I love the guys here. I think we’re headed in the right direction. You never know what’s going to happen but it’s kind of out of my control at htis point. I hope I’m pitching well and I hope I stay here but it’s really out of my control.”
– Carrie Muskat
There was no cake or balloons in the clubhouse, but Wednesday was a milestone day, marking the one-year anniversary of when Anthony Rizzo was called up from the Minor Leagues to the Cubs. In his Cubs debut, the first baseman was 2-for-4 with a game-winning RBI double in the fourth against the Mets.
“There was a lot of uncertainty, to be honest, because of what happened to me in San Diego, and that was fresh in my mind,” said Rizzo, who batted .141 in 49 games with the Padres in 2011 in his first Major League action.
“Coming up and doing well at first was the best thing to ever happen to me, to get that whole San Diego thing out of my head completely,” he said. “I can finally say it’s way in the past.”
Since June 26, 2012, Rizzo has appeared in 161 games, hit 27 home runs, and driven in 92 runs. His 65 extra-base hits in that span are second most among National League first baseman, trailing Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt (70).
“When he got here, he took off right away and had a great first six weeks, and then tailed off and finished up pretty well,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Rizzo, who batted .330 last July to be named NL Rookie of the Month.
“He’s one of those guys who is all in to his defense and his work ethic and trying to make himself a better player every day,” Sveum said. “The rest falls into place when you have that kind of mentality. The hands are there, the ability to hit is there. He’s already produced at the big league level. The power numbers — they only get better when you have that kind of work ethic and mindset.”
Rizzo is sporting the same cropped hair cut he did when called up last year.
“I got sick of my hair — I had long hair last year in Triple-A,” Rizzo said. “I cut it two days before I got called up. [This year] I cut it three days ago.”
So, could he win NL Player of the Month honors again?
“Yeah, let’s repeat that,” Rizzo said, smiling.
– Carrie Muskat
* The Cubs announced they have signed four more Draft picks on Monday. Left-handed pitcher Sam Wilson, an eighth-round pick who played at Lamar Community College, signed as did catcher Jordan Hankins of Austin Peay, an 11th round pick, and 13th round selection Trevor Graham, a right-handed pitcher who played at Franklin Pierce University. Also signing was 15th-round pick Michael Wagner, a right-handed pitcher who was No. 1 pick Kris Bryant’s teammate at San Diego.
* Right-handed pitcher P.J. Francescon has been promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee, and Smokies outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha has been promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Francescon, 24, was 5-4 record with a 4.76 ERA with Daytona. In 14 appearances (13 starts), he gave up 40 runs (37 earned) on 75 hits, walked 21 and struck out 62. He was a 40th round pick in the 2011 Draft.
Ha, 22, hit .284 with five doubles, a home run and 14 RBIs in 28 games for the Smokies. Following a 42-day (May 7-June 18) stint on the disabled list, Ha appeared in the Smokies first three games of the second half and batted 2-for-13 with a run scored and a RBI.
* Maybe the Cubs should consider a move to the American League? They’re 8-3 this season in Interleague play.
* Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in four of his last five games (7-for-16, .438), and scored a career-high four runs on Sunday. He also had his first multi-RBI game since June 5, driving in four runs.
* The Cubs have hit 52 home runs at Wrigley Field, most home homers in the National League. On Sunday, they set season-highs in runs scored (14) and hits (16).
Friday’s game was the first time in the Cubs’ 98 seasons at Wrigley Field in which both teams combined to score at least four runs and all the runs were on solo home runs. That’s according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Cubs had solo homers by Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney and Scott Hairston, and Chris Carter hit a solo shot for the Astros.
Matt Garza’s Spring Training is finally over. The Cubs right-hander, who began the year on the disabled list and didn’t make his first start until May 21, held the Astros to one run over eight plus innings in a 3-1 rain-delayed Interleague victory Friday.
Anthony Rizzo belted a monster leadoff home run in the fourth, Darwin Barney had three hits and needed a triple to complete the cycle, and Scott Hairston added a solo shot in the sixth to power the Cubs, now 7-2 against American League teams this year.
Garza set season highs in innings pitched and strikeouts, and posted his third quality start and second ina row. Among the four hits off the right-hander was a leadoff home run by Chris Carter in the seventh.
“His fastball had life and [he had] command of it, down and away, and in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He got his ground balls. His slider got better as the game went on. He did a great job.”
Garza may have done too well. In his last two starts, he’s given up one earned run over 15 innings. There were plenty of scouts who waited out the three hour, 18 minute rain delay at the start of the game to see the Cubs pitcher in person. The Trade Deadline isn’t that far away.
“You don’t want to lose a guy who can give up one run in his last 15 innings,” Sveum said. “Obviously, it’s a business, and that’s not part of my business.”
Garza has been rumored to be dealt his entire career. This year is no different.
“I’m looking forward to the next five days,” Garza said, staying focused on the task at hand. “I think I face Milwaukee in Milwaukee and I’ll be ready.”
He was matched up for the second straight game with catcher Dioner Navarro, who was his teammate in Tampa, rather than Welington Castillo.
“[Garza] better listen to me,” Navarro said, laughing.
Navarro then complemented Castillo for the job he’s done. Bottom line, Garza is the one on the mound.
“I’ve got nothing to do with it — he’s the one pitching and he’s the one throwing the ball,” Navarro said.
Garza missed a chance for a complete game after he walked Jose Altuve to open the ninth. Kevin Gregg took over, and closed things out for his 11th save in as many opportunities.
– Carrie Muskat