Chicago Cubs: Rizzo named NL Player of the Week
By Erik Mauro
A steady player for years now, Anthony Rizzo, the engine that makes the Chicago Cubs go, got to add another award to his resume this week. The NL Player of the Week.
Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo posted a .429/.484/.750 slash line this week, getting 12 hits and driving in 13 runs. For the season, Rizzo now has a .268/.387/.512 slash line, which is a .900 OPS. “The Rizz” has 28 dingers, 84 RBI, with 69 walks and 68 strikeouts, all while stealing eight bases as well.
Last week alone, Rizzo went 12/28, with two dingers, one of them being a grand slam against the Reds on Wednesday. Against the Reds alone he drove in ten runs in that series. It should come as no surprise that when Rizzo picks up his game like this, the Cubs make a run. Rizzo led the Cubs to a 5-2 week, including a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at home. He had the theoretical game winning RBI in the Saturday game, driving the fourth run on a bloop single in a 4-3 win. On Friday, same thing, a two-run single in the fifth inning, making it 5-1, in a 5-4 win against the Blue Jays.
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Rizzo’s selection is the 2nd Cubs’ player of the week of the season. However, both of them coming in August. Willson Contreras won the Player of the Week for the week of August sixth. Contreras was enjoying an excellent breakout year before going down with a hamstring injury a few weeks ago. Since Willy’s injury, many Cubs have stepped up to fill the void. Rizzo has played well, reigning MVP Kris Bryant has regained his form, Kyle Schwarber has been much, much better, and Javier Baez has been hitting the ball into other dimensions.
Back to Rizzo for a minute. Scrounging the internet hole that is baseball stats, there was a fascinating one: Anthony Rizzo is on pace for his fourth consecutive 30-home run season, while perceived first ballot Hall of Famer Joey Votto only has two 30-home run seasons in total. How about that?
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Rizzo and the Cubs will have a chance to pad their stats, and their division lead, a little bit more this week when they face the Reds and Phillies back-to-back. The Cubs are currently in a stretch of games where they play 24 straight against teams under .500. They have started this stretch at 5-2, doing what they need to do: Take advantage of weaker teams on the schedule.