Believe in the power of 24 hours.
Joe Maddon has used that phrase quite often in his year-and-a-half in Chicago, but maybe the best example of it came Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
After Anthony Rizzo struck out four times in four trips to the plate Tuesday night, the All-Star first baseman came back in the series finale against the Mets to hammer two long home runs in a 6-2 Cubs victory in front of 41,210 fans.
"That's why you can't take yesterday into today," Maddon said. "The power of 24 hours, man. It really matters."
When Rizzo is blasting balls almost onto Sheffield Ave., nobody cares what the Cubs are hitting as a team with runners in scoring position.
Rizzo is heralded by his teammates and coaches as the glue that holds the lineup together, the catalyst for the entire team.
The potential MVP frontrunner has only five hits in six games since the All-Star Break, but all have gone for extra bases and he's driven in eight runs in that span.
After play Wednesday, Rizzo sat with a .999 OPS and was on pace for 41 homers and 122 RBI.
The Cubs also received some two-out help from young infielders Addison Russell (who singled in two in the first inning) and Javy Baez (an RBI single in the fifth) as they touched up Bartolo Colon for six runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings.
"Addy's been doing that pretty much all year," Rizzo said. "It's really nice. He's had a lot of opportunities and he's really cashing in."
Kyle Hendricks was brilliant for the Cubs once again, spotting 6.1 shutout innings while allowing seven hits and a walk. He struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced.
After the game, he made sure to give props to his defense several times.
"That's kinda what I need to have success becaue I pitch to contact," Hendricks said. "Today, I pitched to contact a little bit too much at times; a couple of hard-hit balls. But yeah, the defense was unbelievable and the offense [too]."
Hendricks hasn't given up an earned run now in his last 22 1/3 innings, dating back to his June 29 start in Cincinnati.
Since June 19, Hendricks leads Major League Baseball with an 0.72 ERA, allowing only three earned runs in 37.1 innings in that span.
He also has the second-lowest home ERA in baseball, a 1.36 mark that trails only Clayton Kershaw (1.31).
"Just being comfortable, I think," Hendricks said, trying to explain his success at Wrigley. "Sometimes you just get in a groove somewhere and at home, that's how it's been for me this year.
"I'm just trying to get comfortable on the road in my starts. But I think I've come out at home aggressive, putting a zero up in the first and then our offense has really taken over from there. I think we've scored first in a lot of the games I've pitched at home, which helps."
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Despite failing to complete the comeback Tuesday night, the Cubs finished up a tough homestand with a 4-2 record against the team that ousted them in the NLCS last season and the team with the best record in the American League (Texas Rangers).
"It was a tough one yesterday," Hendricks said. "We felt like we should've had that one, too. It's just taking it game-by-game. We're trying to win every one, really."
Rizzo echoed that sentiment.
"That's what we want to do - keep winning series," he said. "One series at a time, one game at a time."