Anthony Rizzo had a big night Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Rizzo went 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. And Rizzo is one of the reasons the Cubs have played better baseball over the last two weeks.
Since June 1 (nine games), Rizzo is hitting .375/.459/.781 with four doubles, three home runs and a 1.241 OPS. Rizzo managed a .255/.388/.459 slash line in May after starting the year by hitting .295/.422/.477 in his first 25 games.
As was pointed out by several reports, Anthony Rizzo is having a good season. Rizzo is hitting .284/.406/.514 in 61 games with nine doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 42 walks and 50 strikeouts. Rizzo has a .920 OPS for the year and for those concerned if he is hitting or not with RISP. With runners in scoring position, Rizzo is hitting .302/.475/.512 and with RISP and two outs, .286/.474/.357.
Anthony Rizzo launched home run No. 13 and is now tied with Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Reynolds for the most home runs among first basemen in the Senior Circuit ahead of Adrian Gonzalez (12), Ryan Howard (11) and Freddie Freeman (11). And as the Sun-Times reported, Rizzo leads NL first basemen in OBP (.406) and is behind Goldschmidt in SLG (.514) and OPS (.920).
The Cubs’ first baseman is also hitting .344/.446/.623 against southpaws this year with two doubles, five home runs and a 1.069 OPS.
Rick Renteria, according to the Sun-Times, plans to lobby for “his guys” for the Mid-Summer Classic. Anthony Rizzo is “among his All-Star candidates” that also includes Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Starlin Castro.
The Cubs cut ties with Jose Veras Tuesday afternoon. A week after the team designated Veras for assignment, the Cubs outright released the veteran reliever.
A team will pick-up Veras and give him another shot after he pitched a little better when he returned from the disabled list. Veras allowed 10 runs on six hits with 10 walks and five strikeouts in his first 5 2/3 innings in April (15.88 ERA, 2.82 WHIP), but in May he allowed two runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk in 7 2/3 innings (2.35 ERA, 0.91 WHIP).
By the time Veras returned, the young arms in the Cubs’ pen had stepped up and taken his spot in the bullpen. And while Veras’ numbers in May look good, he still struggled with his control and command in his new mop-up role.
News and Notes
According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs are expected to announce Wednesday the signing of first round draft pick, Kyle Schwarber. And it should be for an under-slot deal in the $3 million range.
Major League Baseball announced Tuesday a team of MLB stars will pay a five-game series in Japan this November. The 11th All-Star Series will be the first one since 2006.
Minor News and Notes
Kris Bryant did not hit a home run Tuesday … the Smokies had the night off.
Kyle Hendricks posted his seventh quality start of the season in 12 outings. Hendricks was on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss on Tuesday in Fresno.
Arismendy Alcantara collected his ninth triple of the season Tuesday night. The nine triples is a career high for Alcantara. And he’s been on fire since Iowa finished the series with the Sounds. Alcantara went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored on Tuesday. Since June 5 (six games), Alcantara is 10-for-22 with two triples, one home run, two walks and seven runs scored.
Javier Baez was 0-for-5 in Fresno on Tuesday with three strikeouts. Baez is still batting .296/.355/.630 in his last eight games with one double, one triple, two home runs, four stolen bases and a .984 OPS.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed OF Jorge Soler
1996 – Mets traded minor leaguer Chris DeWitt to the Cubs for Matt Franco
1990 – Cubs signed free agent Doug Strange
1981 – Cubs beat the Giants, 2-1, in a suspended game and 7-4 in the regularly scheduled game as Dick Tidrow picked up the save in both games at Wrigley Field … the last two games before the baseball strike began.
1969 – Cubs acquired Paul Popovich from the Expos for Jack Lamabe and Adolfo Phillips, earlier in the day the Expos traded Manny Mota and Maury Wills to the Dodgers for Ron Fairly and Paul Popovich
1966 – Ernie Banks tied a modern Major League record with three triples in a Cubs 8-2 victory at the Astrodome
1952 – Hank Sauer hit three home runs off Curt Simmons that accounted for all the runs in a 3-0 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field
1934 – Cubs acquired Dolph Camilli from the Phillies for Don Hurst
1911 – Heine Zimmerman hit two home runs, a triple and two singles and drove in a Cubs’ record nine runs in a 20-2 victory over the Braves behind King Cole at West Side Grounds
1904 – Bob Wicker threw a nine-inning no-hitter, allowed a hit in the 10th inning and the Cubs edged the Giants 1-0 after Frank Chance doubled and Johnny Evers singled him home in the 12th inning at the Polo Grounds. The loss snapped ‘Iron Man’ McGinnity’s 12-game winning streak