Players like Anthony Rizzo and Yu Darvish have shown perseverance throughout their careers, and this intangible will help the Chicago Cubs down the stretch
Coming off a tough week on the road, the Chicago Cubs dropped two key series to the Colorado Rockies and Dodgers, moving them out of first in the division. With just two wins in each series combined, it doesn’t seem like there are very many positives to take. However, Saturday night in Los Angeles gave us two considerable takeaways in the forms of Anthony Rizzo and Yu Darvish that will help this team immensely as we move deeper into the season.
We can start with Rizzo, as his game-winning, two-run homer off Kenley Jansen in the 9th inning of Saturday’s game gave the Cubs hope when it seemed all was lost. This helped the Cubs break an 0-for-23 stretch when trailing after six innings. This is just another example of the perseverance Rizzo has shown over the years, proving again why he is the leader of this team.
It’s sometimes easy to forget all that the first baseman has been through with battling cancer, playing for a 100-loss Cubs team in 2012, and enduring the rebuilding process. Rizzo is a true testament to the famous saying, “when the going gets tough, get going.” The energy that Rizzo brings to this team is something that can’t be taught and is something the Cubs will need down the stretch.
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Darvish is the next example of perseverance on display in Chicago. Darvish returned to Los Angeles for the first time since getting shelled in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Greeted by boo’s, Darvish proceeded to throw his best performance since putting on a Cubs uniform.
It’s been a long road for the right-hander from Japan, coming to an entirely new country, battling injury, all while facing heavy criticism as he bounced from team-to-team. It’s easy to bash on someone who hasn’t lived up to the hype. However, when you put things into perspective and see how much Darvish has been through during his career, we can learn to appreciate his grind.
Through all the adversity, Darvish has come out stronger on the other side and is starting to prove his worth as a dominant starting pitcher again. Many people that go through what he has just throw in the towel, but he is showing a ‘never quit’ mentality, and is someone the Cubs can rally around.
Darvish and Rizzo have showcased perseverance throughout the entirety of their careers, and Saturday night in Los Angeles is just another reminder of the grit these two stars have. It’s tough to find two players that possess these traits, and it goes into what many like to call “Championship DNA.”
The Cubs won a World Series in 2016, but they’ve found some challenges since then, and despite the postseason appearances, they feel like they haven’t lived up to expectations. Having players like Rizzo and Darvish help in two ways. They help put things into perspective by showing what adversity is. Along with this, they can show how to rise to the challenge in these times. Perseverance and grit are traits that can’t be taught, and a team looking to make their fifth straight postseason will benefit substantially having leaders that possess these qualities.