Coming into last night’s game, Anthony Rizzo was already on fire.
The Cubs’ 29-year-old first baseman had just won NL Player of the Week honors for a scorching mid-August that saw his season line rise to .272/.369/.467 with a 121 wRC+. No, it’s not what we’ve been accustomed to in his very, very consistent years of success, but it’s also not bad by any stretch. And, as the award highlighted, things have been trending strongly in a positive direction.
As I said, that was coming into last night, when Rizzo went on to notch two doubles and this homer, his fourth in his last seven games:
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 28, 2018
After that singular late-August game, Rizzo saw his slash line bump to .276/.371/.479 with a 124 wRC+. Just 19 players in the NL have a better wRC+ at this point. How about that for a guy who was struggling to stay above average for much of the first half?
So much of this is just normal season swings, hot and cold streaks, and all that. But, given Rizzo’s back issues early in the year, it’s fair to wonder if he’s simply feeling better these days, and the results are showing it. Whatever the case, he’s among the hottest players in baseball, and a couple more big games this week could put him in NL Player of the Month contention (though Ronald Acuña might have that locked up already).
By the way, I think he’s forgoing shaving while the Cubs are winning:
Let’s hope that thing reaches Jake Arrieta levels before it’s all said and done.
Also fun from Rizzo’s big game last night? He recorded hit number 1,000 in his Chicago Cubs career:
I love looking at the outliers in charts like that to try to remember what kinda of crazy circumstances led to Anthony Rizzo doubling right at third base, or tripling to just left of the center fielder.
Congrats on 1,000 with the Cubs, and here’s to 1,000 more … next year, alone. That’ll be a record of some kind.