One Run Done Won
Denied the walk-off RBI by his once-burned, twice-shy skipper, Anthony Rizzo instead scampered across with the game's only tally in the bottom of the 9th tonight at Principal Park to give the I-Cubs a 1-0 win over New Orleans.
Luis Valbuena led off with a single before Rizzo doubled up the alley in left center. Dave Bialas rightly put the brakes on Valbuena with nobody out. Earlier he'd sent plodding catcher Juan Apodaca to the plate on another of Valbuena's three singles but he was apprehended by a strong throw from Zephyrs' left-fielder Chris Coghlan.
Following Rizzo's two-bagger Rob Delaney, who entered the game in the 8th unscored upon this year in 19 innings of work, intentionally passed Ty Wright. JV, elevated to #6 in the lineup due to recent roster attrition, grounded into a force at the plate before Delaney uncorked a wild one that plated Rizzo.
Besides the 9th inning double, the extension of Rizzo's hitting streak to 11 games also included a ringing single off of New Orleans LH Wade LeBlanc. Nice to see him work on his southpaw splits. Also, Rizzo is hitting just below a .300 clip with the bases empty but over .400 with runners in scoring position. Certain situations seem beneath him; others bring out his best.
Jackson didn't play tonight until pinch hitting and flying out in the 8th. Adrian Cardenas also sat out the opener of the home stand. Rodrigo Lopez worked three efficient innings in his first appearance since clearing waivers and joining the team. Frankie De La Cruz then threw up five zeroes before Blake Parker pitched the 9th and copped the win.
New Orleans might have won but for a botched squeeze play in the 8th on which the batter failed to offer so both teams had runners cut down at the plate before Rizzo finally crossed it safely.
On the drive home from the ballpark I heard the Iowa radio team say that the Cub organization has the worst collective record in baseball with no teams on the plus side of .500. Guess you gotta raze before you rebuild.