It should have been called the Anthony Rizzo show as the Chicago Cubs downed the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-6. It started with a deep hit to the corner that everyone thought it ended up in the bullpen which concluded a three run double.
“He has high standards, really high standards for himself,” Joe Maddon said Saturday after Rizzo drove in six runs, including three on a game-winning home run in the ninth, to lift the Cubs to a 9-6 victory over the D-backs. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve not seen that kind of play for this long.”
This year has been especially great for Rizzo. Not only is he on top of his game hitting wise but he’s making great strides with his base running prowess.
During the offseason, Rizzo boldly predicted the Cubs would win the tough National League Central division. In many ways, he’s taken that prediction as his mantra to the season and hoisted the upstart Chicago Cubs up and brought them along for the ride.
“I try to come in every day and try to be the best version of myself I can be,” Anthony Rizzo said.
Modest as well. Check this out though, at 25, Rizzo has quietly become the right leader for this Cubs team. He’s confident and skilled, but he’s also one of them. Sure, you have guys like Miguel Montero and David Ross anchoring the backstop and sharing their insightful wisdom on these young bears, but it’s Anthony Rizzo who’s in charge. He’s been there through the lean years and he’s represented the Cubs in All Star Games when there shouldn’t have been any right for the Cubs to be playing in the annual event. So should that day ever come when the Cubs finally win it all, I hope that Anthony Rizzo is the first to congratulate and be congratulated on the victory.
“He’s in that really elite group of baseball players regarding how they work an at-bat,” Maddon said. “On top of that, he’s a very good defender. Now he’s turning into a really good baserunner. He’s really elevated his game on all levels.”