In the Pre-Gamin’ post before tonight’s game, I mentioned that Matt Harvey had struggled with lefties a lot this season. Indeed, before tonight’s game, lefties were slugging a whopping .479 off him with a .356 wOBA overall. Which is just nuts (especially considering where he was a few years ago).
I then half-jokingly (he says with the benefit of hindsight) made a wager that Anthony Rizzo would do something special in his very first at-bat (I’m very humble, as you can see):
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) June 14, 2017
And then it happened.
For the second straight game, Anthony Rizzo has led off with a home run:
— MLB (@MLB) June 14, 2017
It was his 15th home run of the season, which ties him for the team record with Kris Bryant. He’s now slashing .256/.396/.504, which is good for a 136 wRC+. Awesome.
Of course, Rizzo isn’t/wasn’t the only lefty Harvey had to face in the first inning. Indeed, Ian Happ, the switch-hitter who’s more comfortable from the left side of the plate, was hitting just behind Rizzo tonight and he homered for the second night in a row too!
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 14, 2017
Of course, his homer didn’t come in the first inning yesterday, but that’s two days and two homers for the Cubs young
outfielder? second baseman? player.
That was also his seventh homer of the year, and shot his wRC+ all the way up to 119 – despite the fact that he’s still rocking a 36.6% strikeout rate. His average is still really low, but thanks to a 11.9% walk rate and a ton of slugging (.534) he’s managing to be an above average offensive contributor overall.
Then, there’s this:
Rizzo & Happ: first #Cubs to begin a game with back-to-back HR since Alfonso Soriano & Ryan Theriot 5/13/2009
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 14, 2017
What an awesome start to the game.