Anthony Rizzo seems to be emerging from slump
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org April 28, 2013 8:19PM
Updated: May 30, 2013 3:25PM
MIAMI — Two 23-year-old sluggers appeared to find answers to their early-season questions at the plate over the weekend in Miami.
One — Giancarlo Stanton — kept the Cubs from sweeping the Marlins in a four-game series. Stanton had two home runs and an RBI single Sunday, and all three of his homers this season came in his last six at-bats against the Cubs.
The other — Anthony
Rizzo — kept the Cubs optimistic their lagging offense might find new life during the 10-game homestand that opens Monday against the San Diego Padres. Rizzo reached base eight times in the last three games against the Marlins, including two homers, a double and three walks.
After his two-homer game Friday, Rizzo said it was a
single in his last at-bat that was especially encouraging.
‘‘I know it sounds dumb,’’ he said.
Rizzo was hitting .173 until
that game and had almost twice as many strikeouts (26) as hits (14), despite good
‘‘Especially after looking at the videos after the game, the swing was where I want it to be, and now it’s just being consistent with it,’’ he said.
Manager Dale Sveum, who had said all he wanted was for ‘‘Rizzo to be Rizzo,’’ said he’s starting to see that.
‘‘It’s a confidence thing,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s still swinging the bat good off left-handers and had the big RBI double in the first [Sunday against right-hander Ricky Nolasco]. We just need that confidence to come back, more than anything.’’
NOTES: Rehabbing third baseman Ian Stewart (strained quadriceps) struck out in both his official at-bats and committed his second
error in as many games Sunday for Class AAA Iowa, but he also walked three times. He’s hitting .094 (3-for-32).
† The Cubs’ string of six consecutive quality starts ended, but the rotation still has a 3.14 ERA. Travis Wood has made a quality start every time he has pitched (5-for-5).
† The Cubs committed 17 errors in their first 17 games. They’ve committed one in seven games since.