The Cubs went down big early, but came roaring back, thanks in large part to a two-homer, six RBI day by Anthony Rizzo. The game, which featured no rain delays, cruised by in a cool 4+ hours.

  • tim

    I almost apologize, but I’m more intrigued by Instructs than the next two weeks of games. Unless Rizzo or Castro are hitting.

  • Dan

    Poor Pirates…

  • Master Dan

    Looks like Volstad won’t be around next year.

  • nkniacc13

    I think he may get brought back

  • Fastball

    Next years team will look like the one in the 1st Major League movie. We will be saying who are these guys and they will be shitty. I wonder how this off season will go and who will will show up on this roster. Only miracles can help this team.

    • nkniacc13

      I think yoiur wrong because we will know who atleast 4-6 starters are in the field now the pitching staff thats another issue

  • LifePainter

    Volstad throws the wrong type of sinker. Tommy John and Randy Jones made a living out of throwing the high to low sinker that broke mostly straight down. All two seam fastballs should tail into a right handed batter from a right handed pitcher to some degree. It’s the real good sinker that can be thrown 90% of the time. Tim Hudson and Jake Westrook have that type of sinker on some days. Volstad could mix in some four seam fastballs with a little movement to set up the sinker. If he is throwing a sinker at 92mph, his four seam fastball could reach 95-96. That would allow him to run guys up the ladder on occasion and still get groundball outs when he needs. He simply can’t keep throwing tailing fastballs up in the zone.

  • cdncubfan

    finally back in chicago for a handful of games and with today being the first one, i was not disappointed. lots of new pitchers to see, rizzo was awesome and it was great to see soriano have such a productive game. he’s had a really solid year. was not happy to see volstad but you get what you get with him. no surprises at least!

    love spending time in the bleachers!

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Clearly Rizzo is a clutch dude. Some people might think that today’s performance was meaningless, but it’s playoff time in one of my head-to-head leagues, and Rizzo’s performance today put me over the top in HR, RBI, Runs and Slugging! As I’m going to win by 4 categories, I will lazily attribute my first round victory to Rizzo….

  • farmerjon

    Any opinions on where Rizzo sits in the ROY discussions…he deserves a look , right?

    • Njriv

      Unfortunately, he probably won’t win because he was basically brought up a couple days before July, missing almost half the season.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Miley and Frazier have Rizzo beat by a long shot. Harper probably does, too, especially if he continues his good hitting of the last month over the last couple of weeks. (All of the hype + division winner will bring attention to that.)

      Of course, they might just give Trout both league’s ROY awards simply because he probably outperformed all of the NL rookies in just the interleague games.

      • fortyonenorth

        I just love to watch Mike Trout play. He’s great and makes it look effortless, too – like Michael Jordan did back in the day. Trout’s good for baseball.

      • hansman1982

        No question…Harper and trout. They came into the season as unanimous Roy and neither did anything to lose it.

      • Drew7

        Yeah, Frazier has hit the ball very well. Aoki has quietly put together a pretty solid first year, too.

      • fortyonenorth

        Harper .263/.335/.793 – 19 HR, 50 RBI (122 games)
        Rizzo .300/.352/.843 – 14 HR, 43 RBI (71 games)

        Harper’s no Trout and, for my money, neither is he a Rizzo.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Haha… Wow, you really need to pull the shades off. You really think Rizzo is better than Harper? I love Harper, but any man in his right mind would give him and any player in our farm or two to get him.

        • Drew7

          Harper isn’t even 20 and plays a premium position. Rizzo isnt near the talent Harper is.

          • TSB

            After all the hype, Harper isn’t near the talent Harper is..

            • BluBlud

              I’m taking Rizzo over Harper all day. I also hate how people say CF is a premium position, but 1B is not. Only 2 positions who touch the ball more then a 1st baseman, is a pitcher and catcher. Rizzo is a better hitter by far, and a better ball player. Harper is nice to look at, but not as good a hitter. Haper is all hype. The next J.D. Drew.

              • calicubsfan007

                @BluBlud: I agree. I think Harper is overrated. Harper started off hot, but has since cooled down. Rizzo has played fewer games than Harper this season, yet they have similar (with Rizzo having the better BA) numbers. Rizzo all the way.

                • phoenix0401

                  He’s 19. And player major league baseball. Starlin Castro was 20. He’s younger than Castro was — when he first started. He isn’t even in the general vicinity of his ceiling. Given that, that he’s matching Rizzo is incredible. (Mike Trout is off the charts — but that’s an unfair comparison.)

                • Drew7

                  “Harper is overrated”

                  What’s the kid supposed to do at 19? I mean, Rizzo is more than 4 years older than him AND plays CF! I love Rizzo, but man…

                  • Drew7

                    *should be, “and Harper plays CF”

              • Drew7

                “Touching the ball more” has nothing to do with it. Most XBH are line-drives (obviously excluding HR, which a defender has no control over), and all XBH’s reach the outfield. Having a CF’er who is a premium defender saves some would be XBH’s by tracking down line-drives and cutting off ball in the gap; since XBH’s win ballgames, preventing them is a big deal.

                Also, comparing JD Drew to Harper is ridiculous: Harper has put up a 112 OPS+ and 4 WAR as a 19 yr old. Drew didnt have a season like that until he was 24 (AND-in case you didnt know-Drew was a vwry good player).

                Rizzo is a good, potentially very good player, but it’s statements like, Harper is all hype- I’m taking Rizzo all day over him” that get Cub fans accused of being Homer’s and sipping Theo-lade.

                • BluBlud

                  Let me think, I remember when a guy named Delmon Young was a can’t miss prospect who was going to win MVP awards and was going to he a perennial all-star. Guys miss. Even guys as good as Harper. He’s a good ball player, but will never be a top player in the league as he is projected to be. His hype will get him a few All-star games, his skills a couple more, but he will never be the best outfielder in MLB. I think Rizzo has the better chance of peaking as the “best player at his position” then does Harper. Just my opinion. Doesn’t make me a homer.

                  • phoenix0401

                    Here is Harper’s slash line as a 19-year-old:

                    Here’s another 19-year-old’s slash line:

                    The latter has gone on to have a pretty okay career. His name is Alex Rodriguez. I know you think you sound smart and baseball saavy. But you really don’t.

                    • BluBlud

                      Look, this is all opinion. Nobody knows who is going to be the better player come 2015 or 2016 or even after. It is my opinion that Rizzo is and will be better then Harper. I think Harper is good ball player, surrounded by a tremendous amount of teenage hype. Now will he go Lebron James, and live up to it? I highly doubt it. Very few of those guys actually live up to the hype. He will be an all-star level player, but “Super Star”, I’m not sold on it. He created a buzz by dropping out of high school to get a GED, so he could go to JuCo and come out early. What parent would allow their kid to do that. One that’s creating hype around their kid that he’ll never live up too. My view of him, good ball player, whole lot of hype.

                      P.S. How immature do you have to be to disrespect a person because they disagree with you.

                    • phoenix0401

                      The problem is, what are you basing that on? I can say: I think Josh Vitters is going to be better than Bryce Harper, because Delmon Young was a flop — and there’s no difference from your argument.

                      That’s my problem here. Bryce Harper is a better prospect than Young. Harper has elite power (top of the scale), elite arm, elite bat speed, baserunning saavy you usually only see in veteran players, and — oh yeah — he’s a plus defender.

                      Might he still fail? Sure, but comparing him to Delmon Young make no sense. He and Trout are the best prospects to hit MLB since Alex Rodriguez. (Trout may be better than A-Rod.) If you think he’s going to fail, you have to argue why you don’t think his tools are going to play.

                • fortyonenorth

                  I love how any mention of Harper sparks a bench-clearing brawl on Bleacher Nation. 😉

              • DocPeterWimsey

                I also hate how people say CF is a premium position, but 1B is not.

                You can stick Prince Fielder at first base. Really, what more needs to be written?

                • BluBlud

                  Right doc, but I have also seen lance Berkman play an effective CF. What’s your point.

                  • hansman1982

                    If Lance Berkman could play an effective CF he would be playing there.

                    Total Chances do not determine a positon’s difficulty or desireability as most plays at 1B are of the garden variety “playing catch” type.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    My point should be obvious: anybody can play first (it’s where DH’s played before they had DH’s); only a select few can play CF. And, yes, Berkman was one of those select few: he was not the best defensively, but his mitt + run creation >>> mitt + run creation of Joe CFer.

                    • phoenix0401 (Flashfire)

                      Wait, you’re telling me Vogelbach can’t play center field? Crap, time to re-write the 2016 lineup card :-(

                    • Drew7

                      This is a good point, Doc.

                      The point is, directly comparing Rizzo with Harper is ineffective: The comparison should be, “how many net runs do each create in relation to their average defensive-counterpart?” Since Rizzo’s position has A) less of an opportunity to save runs defensively and B) produces better numbers offensively than the average CF’er, his offense has to be considerably better than Harper’s to create the same value overall.

                  • Drew7

                    You may have seen Berkman play CF, but that was 10 yrs ago, and certainly not what I’d consider “effective”.

  • cubsfan2317

    Anthony Rizzo’s grandslam. The only pitch of the game I taped.

    • Shawn H

      Bob Brenly said it best. Thats how you swing at a 3-1 pitch with the bases loaded. Just rock back and let it fly. Its fun to watch him swing the bat.

    • someday…2015?

      Great video! Was watching football all day and missed the game. Can’t beat that Wrigley Field energy after a big homerun.

      • hardtop

        Huh? Football? the Bears played (if you can call what they did “playing”) on Thursday?!?

    • Stevie B

      In ALL the other parks in MLB, if the home team had the record the Cubs do and one of their players had hit that, the response might have been a few cheers and few “mehs”….Wrigley on the other hand was rockin.

      Patience my friends, when Theo brings a winner into Chicago…it will be amazing to experience.

  • EB

    I’m glad it was a tough series for Hughes. I remember watching him earlier this year, and he walked around the mound like he was some big badass.

  • Mr. Mac

    I was at the game today and it was seemingly half empty (or half full, I suppose) but the energy was pretty awesome once the Cubs started playing long ball. The Rizzo slam landed three rows behind me. So close…

    Side note: During BP Jason Grilli on the Pirates made an effort to toss a ton of balls out to kids in the bleachers as his teammates threw them back in or didn’t even bother shagging them. Super classy, and I know he made a bunch of little kids very happy.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Very cool. Brownie points for Grilli.

    • 100 Years of Tears

      Did you see the D-bag in left center steal Rizzo’s first homer away from the guy next to him? I was really happy to see Len and Bob call him out after the commercial break… practically assaulted the poor guy…

      • cas-castro

        I saw that on TV. It looked like the DB ended up giving the ball to a kid nearby. I’ll bet the conversation went something like this: “here you go, son. That is how you steal a homerun ball away from someone. ”
        I’m surprised that guy let him grab his arm like he did, probably worried he would fall onto the field.

  • Big Joe

    Is there really any need for Volstad to “showcase” himself? Does the team really need to see what he’s capable of? Will he honestly be part of a spring training audition for a roster spot? Bullpen, even? What part of “The Marlins didn’t want me, and I’ve been pretty bad for your team, too” do Cuvs not understand? For the love of God, just let him walk.

  • Big Joe

    Is there really any need for Volstad to “showcase” himself? Does the team really need to see what he’s capable of? Will he honestly be part of a spring training audition for a roster spot? Bullpen, even? What part of “The Marlins didn’t want me, and I’ve been pretty bad for your team, too” do the Cubs not understand? For the love of God, just let him walk.

  • Josh

    This will be an interesting offseason. I really hope Volstad is not brought back.

    The lineup will be very similar. But think about how much Rizzo and Barney improved over the last offseason. Imagine if they do the same again this year. Now that Jackson has had the experience, hopefully he can make the adjustments over the offseason like Rizzo has. Castro has been playing very well lately and I hope he carries that into next season as well. Catcher, CF, and RF are the only spots in the field that are available. CF will stay inside the organization to either DeJesus or Jackson as well as the other two most likely.

    The rotation is the biggest issue. Garza and Samardzja are the only good pithcers and Wood is the only other MLB caliber guy we have. We have to add a couple guys this winter.

    • cub2014

      Possible Cubs lineup to start 2013
      CF Jackson (has a good on base compared to BA, needs to learn to foul off tough pitches in stead of watching them and striking out)
      SS Castro
      1B Rizzo
      LF Soriano
      RF Dejesus
      C Castillo
      3B Stewart (they will give him a chance to see if he can do it)
      2B Barney

      1. Dempster? some free agent?
      2. Garza
      3. Samardijza
      4. Wood
      5. Hybrid: Vizcaino/Rusin

      OF Campanas,Sappelt, Lahair?
      IF Valbuena
      C Clevenger

      But Theo has already said everyone is for sale at trading deadline

  • Kevin

    Looks like the Cubs have played so well recently they may end up with the 5th pick in next years draft. I just hope there’s a good prospect available @ # 5.

    • gutshot5820

      Typical Cubs. Now that they have nothing to pay for they can’t stop winning.

      • phoenix0401

        Better than that. Now that it actively hurts them to win, they can’t stop winning.

  • Ivy Walls

    Sometimes when watching young players develop it is best not to say anything. But Rizzo now is batting .300-BA, 14-HR’s, 11-2B’s, 43-RBI’s. .352-OBP. .843-OPS in 277 AB’s, I think the trade for a reliever was good and Cubs have a power 1B for a decade or more.

    • Featherstone

      Even if Cashner becomes a good starter I feel it was a good trade. Yeah I hope he has a great career over in SD, but I feel like we got the better end of the deal. We have a very solid middle of the order 1st baseman for the next decade. The more time goes on the better this deal looks especially with the uncertainty around Cashner’s injury history.

  • ssckelley

    After seeing yet another pitcher go down for the Dodgers I can’t help but wonder if they are regretting trying to low ball the Cubs for Dempster. Karma?

    • gutshot5820

      I hope they miss the payoffs by one game!!

  • calicubsfan007

    Anyone know where I could get a Rizzo jersey for a decent price? My only Cubs jersey that I have right now is a Sammy Sosa one, so… yeah… I need a new one…

    • Njriv

      My parents bought me a Soriano jersey when he signed in 2007 because of how good he was and the long contract he signed. I’ve only worn it a couple times since because my dad bought it too big because he got it off of ebay because he’s cheap and said I’d grow into it. So what I decided was the next Cubs jersey I get will most likely be personalized.

      • Tommy

        Make sure you buy it a little big so you can grow into it!

  • Brick Thompson

    Lets hope the constant interleague play next season makes selig give the NL a
    DH so Big-V could stay with us

    • Jimmy james


  • fromthemitten

    Why was one of the league leaders in NEGATIVE WAR leading off? Yes, he hit a home run but Mather should not be on the 25 man roster next season. It seems pointless to have him out there

    • Njriv

      Nah, he most likely wont be.

    • ssckelley

      The only thing I can think of is they are giving Mather every at bat they can for him to earn a job for next season, not necessarily with the Cubs.

  • Zach

    van den Hurk

    54.00 ERA

    Can’t get any worse than that.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Supposedly Bartman is on Twitter? (Supposedly not a fake) Found this article and thought it was interesting. Sorry brett for posting another cubs blog on here, but I really found it interesting and thought others would finding it interesting too. What you think?

  • fortyonenorth

    Barney owes the official scorer dinner for that call in the 1st inning. Len said it best, “Wow. A hit?”

  • ssckelley

    Not really fair comparing Rizzo to Trout and Harper as the Cubs did not have a chance at either of those players. The Cubs got Brett Jackson after Trout was selected as they drafted 31st in the 2009 draft and Harper was drafted #1 overall in the 2010 draft. Basically the Cubs got Rizzo with the 19th pick of the 2008 draft as that is what they gave up to get him (Andrew Cashner). Based on the results so far the Cubs made out like a thief in that deal. Hopefully the Cubs got that Trout/Harper type player in Almora, Soler, or get him with a top 5 pick in next years draft.

  • Drew7

    “Not really fair comparing Rizzo to Trout and Harper as the Cubs did not have a chance at either of those players.”

    I’m not sure how that matters. The reason it isn’t fair to directly compare the two is because Rizzo is 4 years older than Harper and 3 years older than Trout.

    • phoenix0401

      Trout is such Cubs like. The Cubs had done their homework, liked him a lot and just happened to be one of the few teams in baseball with a good enough record not to have a shot. No blame there — the ’08 Cubs were great. But, man, what luck. Any other year, the Cubs have an awful enough record to get him.

      • ssckelley

        No doubt! But hey, there is still hope Brett Jackson pans out. Which is who the Cubs got in the first round of that draft.

    • ssckelley

      But I see a lot of arguments being made over who people would rather have. The Cubs never had a shot at Trout or Harper, I feel fortunate that the Cubs landed Rizzo for a pitcher that has an upside to being a closer and struggles to stay healthy. I doubt the Cubs could trade Rizzo straight up for either Trout or Harper. Hopefully within the next couple of years Almora, Baez, or Soler can be our Trout/Harper type of player that everyone else will wish they had.

      Just imagine, had the Cubs not made that deal we would all probably be gushing over Greg Rohan right now platooning with LaHair.

      • phoenix0401

        I doubt the Cubs could trade Rizzo straight up for either Trout or Harper.

        Finalist in the understatement of the year award. 😉