Cubs

'Respect me!' Anthony Rizzo says he's one of baseball's best after winning epic Game 3 for Cubs

'Respect me!' Anthony Rizzo says he's one of baseball's best after winning epic Game 3 for Cubs

The TV cameras caught what Anthony Rizzo said after he drove in the go-ahead run and set Wrigley Field on fire.

"Respect me!"

Hold on. That's more accurate if it's in all caps.

"RESPECT ME!"

That's better.

It's probably a good guess that the Washington Nationals do respect Rizzo. The guy's been a perennial MVP candidate for each of the past three seasons. But Rizzo still felt a bit miffed when, with two outs in a tie game and Leonys Martin standing 180 feet away, they decided to pitch to him.

He made them pay, which is just what he wanted to do.

"Yeah, that's the mentality I take always with the base open. I want to make guys pay," Rizzo said after the Cubs' 2-1 Game 3 win, one that put them a win away from advancing to their third straight NLCS. "I hit where I hit in the order. I drive in runs, and that's just the mentality that I always take in. Usually I keep that stuff behind the scenes and say that stuff, but just my emotions got me there.

"But you know, that's the mentality. I believe I'm a really good hitter. I believe I'm one of the best hitters in the game, and you have to believe that. You have to believe in that. There's a lot of power that comes with that."

Power wasn't exactly what won the Cubs the game, as Rizzo — who has hit 127 home runs over the past four regular seasons — brought the game-winning run home with a bloop single that landed in what Nationals manager Dusty Baker called "never never land" in between a trio of fielders. But it got the job done.

Goes down as a line drive in the scorebook, right?

Rizzo's status as one of the faces of this franchise, along with fellow corner infielder Kris Bryant, will only grow after his clutcher than clutch hit Monday. But this is the kind of thing Cubs fans have come to expect from Rizzo. Maybe the Nationals didn't get the memo?

"That was a big player in a big spot coming up big," outfielder Kyle Schwarber said. "No surprise there. He's been the rock through this whole series right now. He's going to keep going."

"When he's using the whole field, that's normally when he's pretty good," manager Joe Maddon said. "Now, they have to respect the wind and his power. They are playing more deeply, and that's permitted the ball to fall in. A lesser hitter, probably would have been caught. But that's the thing I appreciate about Rizzo, the choke-up, the willingness to go to the opposite field.

"That's why he's so good, beyond he's got natural ability, but as an offensive player, he can hit the ball in the seats and then he can he can hit you a blooper line drive to the left. That's what needs to be nurtured more, and I really love his approach."

An epic Game 3 ended in pretty epic fashion. After Jose Quintana and Max Scherzer starred on the mound, Albert Almora Jr. and Rizzo starred at the plate. It's the kind of moment — or series of moments — that make October baseball so doggone special.

Rizzo's had those moments before. Add this to his list.

In other words, respect him.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

In the latest CubsTalk Podcast, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan look ahead to Thanksgiving and discuss the official coaching hires for the Cubs.

They also talk about where the Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, whether Alex Cobb could factor into the rotation plans and Kap goes off on the 11:30 a.m. Opening Day start time.

Check out the entire podcast here:

NBC Sports Chicago to deliver a Chicago baseball Thanksgiving Day marathon

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NBC Sports Chicago to deliver a Chicago baseball Thanksgiving Day marathon

15-straight hours of “Classic” Cubs and White Sox full game replays from the 2017 season gets underway at 9:00 AM CT

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available 24/7 on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive  or via the NBC Sports app

Chicago, IL (November 21, 2017) -- NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will provide its viewers with a special 15-hour Thanksgiving Day marathon featuring four, thrilling “Classic” games from this past Cubs & White Sox season beginning this Thursday, November 23 at 9:00 AM CT. 

NBC Sports Chicago will also live stream this Classic games marathon to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NBC Sports app.  NOTE: MLB game replays will only be made available to those viewers within NBC Sports Chicago’s regular MLB viewing territory.

Note NBC Sports Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Cubs & White Sox “Classics” game marathon line-up below (all times Central Time):

THANKSGIVING DAY - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23

9:00 AM“White Sox Classics: White Sox vs. Houston (from August 10) – The future most certainly looked bright on the southside in this match-up as the White Sox defeated the eventual World Series champs, thanks in part to some 9th/extra-inning heroics from team’s highly-touted future cornerstone, Yoan Moncada.

12:30 PM“Cubs Classics: Cubs at Milwaukee (from September 21) – In one of their most exciting victories of the season, the Cubs were down 3-2 in the top of the ninth (not to mention being down to their last strike), but second baseman Javy Baez came through with a clutch RBI single to force extra innings, which was then followed by reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant crushing the Brew Crew’s hopes for division contention with a two-run blast in the 10th.

4:30 PM“White Sox Classics: White Sox at Detroit (from September 14) – The bats were indeed alive as the White Sox belted out 25 hits (a White Sox personal best total since 1981) featuring some impressive firepower courtesy of its top three stars: Avisail Garcia (5-5, HR, 7 RBI), Yoan Moncada (4-5, HR), and Jose Abreu (4-5, 2 RBI).

8:00 PM“Cubs Classics: Cubs at St. Louis (from September 27) – The Cubs clinched their second-straight NL Central Division title with all five of their runs coming in the 7th inning, which included shortstop Addison Russell’s GW three-run shot.  NOTE: Immediately following this “Cubs Classics” game (approx. 10:55 PM), fans can look forward to a replay of “Cubs Postgame Live” that featured the team’s NL Central Division-clinching locker room celebration.

REMINDER: NBC Sports Chicago/NBCSportsChicago.com/NBC Sports app will carry live coverage of all eight Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championship games this weekend (all in HD) beginning with the Class 1A title game Friday morning (Nov. 24) at 10:00 AM and all the way through to the Class 8A battle between area preps powerhouses Lincoln-Way East (13-0) vs. Loyola Academy (12-1) on Saturday night (Nov. 25) at 7:00 PM on NBC Sports Chicago+.  Fans are urged to visit NBCSportsChicago.com/preps for full coverage and precise channel location/live streaming details.