CHICAGO -- With runners at the corners, two outs and the game tied, the idea of what Anthony Rizzo can be and the reality of who he actually is intersected on a warm Wrigley Field night.
In the bottom of that fourth inning, Mets pitcher Dillon Gee was pounding him with fastballs up and in, but Rizzo, showing the plate discipline that the Theo Epstein regime preaches, waited for his pitch. With his hands low and a practiced shorter approach to the ball, Rizzo laced a 2-2, 85-mph breaking ball up the middle to give the Cubs a one-run lead.
Fans roared, team president Crane Kenney and chairman Tom Ricketts stood and cheered, and for a minute, it felt like this season actually mattered.
Rizzo, a babyface with a baseball body, did a quick clap as he got to first, before hustling, and sliding, into second on the throw to third. A generous scorekeeper gave him a double. Amazingly, the run held up and the Cubs (26-48) won consecutively for the seventh time this season, 5-3 over the New York Mets. This was just the sixth series they’ve won.