Rizzo, Cubs find a 'contagious winning feeling' again

Rizzo, Cubs find a 'contagious winning feeling' again

Anthony Rizzo said he didn't care whether the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals or a team in the College World Series, he just wanted to get back to winning ways.

The Cubs did that Friday afternoon and it just so happened to be against those rival Cardinals.

Rizzo backed up his talk by walking the walk, scoring the winning run as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 3-2 in front of 41,051 fans at Wrigley Field Friday evening.

Dexter Fowler returned to Chicago, traded jokes with Rizzo, received his World Series ring and promptly led off the game with a homer nearly out of the stadium.

John Lackey gave up another run in the second inning, but settled in from there and let the offense claw its way back.

Rizzo - who walked his first three times up - drilled a leadoff double over the glove of Cardinals left fielder Magneuris Sierra in the eighth inning. 

The face of the Cubs then motored to third base on some heads-up baserunning on Ben Zobrist's grounder and scored on Jason Heyward's sacrifice fly.

As soon as Heyward made contact, Rizzo began clapping and celebrated all the way back to the bag to tag up.

It was the second time Heyward had driven in Rizzo on the afternoon following Heyward's double in the sixth.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Cubs and they've taken the first step toward that "contagious winning feeling" Rizzo so desperately searched for.

"It's always weird when you lose when you're so accustomed to winning," Rizzo said. "But that's the way the game works. Everything is not gonna be perfect. It's how you respond to it. 

"You definitely learn about yourself going through struggles as a person. ... If you're having success, it's easy to be happy."

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 



Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.