Rizzo Shoots & Scores!
Glad tidings from breezy Principal Park where the I-Cubs climbed all over the Tacoma Rainiers and snapped a four-game skid with an 18-8 slapstick win this afternoon. Anthony (Ratso) Rizzo (who else?) paced Iowa with a record-tying performance in support of Chris Volstad's first outing for the team.
Rizzo lined his 15th homer to the luxury seats in left-center on the first pitch in the bottom of the 2nd for the game's first run. 25 more would follow and Rizzo scored four of them to tie the club record of five in a game. He also drove in two of the others with a bases-loaded single. All told Rizzo had three hits and reached on two of the Rainiers' half dozen errors. The stands were full of field-tripping grade-schoolers, a random batch of whom could have acquitted themselves as professionally with their gloves as did the visitors.
Volstad? The highlight was striking out the side in the first, all swinging, with a single mixed in. I would estimate that 90% of his pitches registered between 89-91. He looks imposing on the mound but is not and seems to have little margin for error. In only one of his six frames did he retire the side in order. The top of the 3rd started out like it might be his designated poor one for the day when he walked the leadoff man on four pitches and then gave up a single. But he righted himself there, surrendering only a sacrifice fly as he retired the next three hitters. In the 6th he had two down with a man at first when he ran out of gas and was rocked for a homer, a single and a double before Luis Valbuena rescued him with a diving snag to end the uprising. In fairness, that sequence began with Iowa in front 16-1 and he was in a new city throwing to a new catcher against a new opponent.
Steve Clevenger started at DH today in a rehab assignment and batted twice before he was removed after three innings. He may have tweaked something frollicking around the bases and sliding home in the midst of the Tacoma fielding follies. Luckily Rizzo wasn't hurt while running more laps in a game than any I-Cub has since Roosevelt Brown at Omaha's venerable old Rosenblatt Stadium in the previous century.
Brett Jackson had the day off.
j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er
zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8
heyward 0-4 :(
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says
Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.
I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.
The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.
I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.
I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.
With that said in reverse order:
3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.
2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.
1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.
CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.
Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.
I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.
any opponent preference for NLDS?
Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.
A couple of Cub related puzzles.
Can't teach height and thinness
Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.
j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.
Wow. I didn't know they could do that.
Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.
Game is officially called...also officially a tie.
Stats count, no make-up date of course.
Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.