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.


Kind of a bummer about Jackson. And I hope LaHair snaps out of it tonight.

Thanks Welly!

I am glad Volstad notched his first win anywhere since the Wright Bros. first flight.

Wondering wtf our pitching coach does up here with our hurlers that can't find the zone, or, have the "yips" of the Big Inning?

I never see the guy get off his ass much in games, so I really have no clue.

I would not mind firing of both the hitting and pitching coaches. Then again, fire the guy who has been teaching the "Cubs Way" of Defense, too.

Thanks again for the wrap.


Dejesus 9, Johnson 8, Castro 6, Soriano 7, Mather 5, Baker 3, Barney 4, Lalli 2, T. Wood 1

vs. JA Happ

Omfg! A changed lineup?!

this lineup is 2012 Cubs as hell.

t.wood is pitching and everything...maybe s.camp and dollis will get an inning, too.

Sveum out tomorrow for kid's HS graduation, Clevenger expected to return by Monday.

per Sveum on pre game interview with Moreland...Welington Castillo goes to the DL (Travis Wood activated and starts tonight)

Lalli catching tonight

I guess Sully reads thecubreporter. Nice!


actually the trib article mentioning TCR was by Wrongway Phil Rogers. He's in Houston this week while Sullivan is off (or maybe getting his legs lengthened?)

Sullivan blocked us on Twitter actually. We haven't been able to figure out why.

TCR ain't got enough swag, son. *pops collar*

...or all the short jokes.

...or he was TRN on here.

My God! You are right............Sullivan is TRN........TRN is Sullivan. Now the Universe makes sense.


Who has time to read a by-line?

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.