Chicago Cubs: Gore running for Rizzo? Yes and… No
There would also be the problem of taking out established hitters or even superstar hitters in the seventh or eighth inning who would then have their spots come up again in the ninth or tenth innings in a still tied or close game.
Running for Anthony Rizzo with Gore and then having Rizzo’s spot come up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in a close game would not be ideal. The flip-side to this argument is, of course, the fact that you’re probably a run closer in the game because Gore scored when you ran for Rizzo earlier in the game.
Other considerations specifically geared toward the Cubs that make this less palatable is their extreme penchant for swinging and missing. They did it more than any other team in 2019 and they have struggled at times over the last few years at producing runs with runners on. While they have scored boatloads of runs over the past five seasons, they’ve also left a small or medium-sized village on base. Having a runner at second instead of first is great, but who’s to say the Cubs will even take advantage of that if it happens?
There’s also the impact on the hitter who is up to bat when Gore takes off for second or third. Does the runner take a strike (although pitchouts and nervous pitching would also be more common) that is hittable on the first pitch to allow Gore to get to second? I don’t particularly feel this is as big an issue with how negatively Gore will affect the pitcher and catcher on the other team, but it surely is an issue worth looking into should the Cubs be serious about going this avenue.
While there are considerations, and Gore may not ultimately be the guy to push all your chips in with, this fan would love to see the Cubs commit to the idea of using a “burner” more regularly late in games to give the Cubs any advantage they can get.