Tag: Anthony Rizzo

Joe Maddon
AP Photo

Joe Maddon criticizes Cardinals’ book of unwritten rules


Things got testy in Friday afternoon’s game between the Cardinals and Cubs. Cubs starter Dan Haren hit Matt Holliday in the head with a fastball, forcing the outfielder from the game in the fifth inning. Both benches were promptly warned by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. Nevertheless, Cardinals reliever Matt Belisle attempted to exact revenge in the seventh, throwing a fastball at first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Belisle was tossed from the game.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn’t happy about the Cardinals’ attempt to get revenge. He defended Haren, saying his pitch to Holliday was “an absolute mistake” and that there was “no malicious intent whatsoever”.

Following that, he criticized the book of unwritten rules that the Cardinals purport to follow. Maddon said, “I never read that particular book that the Cardinals wrote way back in the day. I was a big Branch Rickey fan, but I never read that this book that the Cardinals had written regarding how to play baseball.”

Maddon was saying that in reference to the Cardinals playing their first baseman behind Chris Denorfia, who had walked and was on first base with one out in the bottom of the eighth with the Cubs leading by five runs. He threatened that, in the future, he would have his runner steal second base. According to the book of unwritten rules, teams shouldn’t take advantage of that situation given their lead. But, as Maddon explained, playing for an extra run would help them in the next inning as it would prevent them from having to warm up closer Hector Rondon.

Maddon also said about the Cubs, “We don’t start stuff, but we will stop stuff.” Here’s video from the Chicago Daily Herald:

It didn’t seem like it took long for the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry to heat up again. Following Friday’s win, the Cubs are 86-61, six games behind the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs trail the Pirates by 1.5 games for the first NL Wild Card slot.

Video: Anthony Rizzo makes absurd grab on foul popup

Anthony Rizzo

You’ll be seeing highlights of this play Anthony Rizzo made on Wednesday night for a very long time …

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 13, Red Sox 3: Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. The Sox had a 2-1 in the sixth inning before the Yankees scored three times in the bottom of that inning and then nine times — nine times? NINE TIMES — in the seventh. Brian McCann drove in four. Chris Young knocked in three. A-Rod killed a guy with a trident.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4: Wilson Ramos hit two-run single with one out in the bottom of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and the Nats snapped their four-game skid. Didn’t matter in the standings though because . . .

Mets 5, Marlins 1: . . . The Mets won their fifth straight thanks to a four-run eighth inning. Juan Lagares had a two-run triple in that frame and Eric Campbell broke the tie with an RBI single. After the game Marlins manager Dan Jennings talked about how it’s hard to lose a game like this:

“They have a lot of momentum going their way. But when you stay right there cheek-to-cheek with them and let it get away it’s definitely frustrating.”

There’s your problem, Dan. You’re supposed to be playing baseball, not dancing.

Phillies 6, Dodgers 2: Here’s one you don’t see every day:

That was eventually ruled a balk and it put runners at second and third. A walk later loaded the bases for Makiel Franco who launched a grand slam. Not exactly the way Alex Wood wanted his Dodgers debut to go, I reckon. The Phillies, for their part, are 13-3 since the All-Star break. Which is the sort of thing, had someone given you odds on in Vegas a few weeks ago, no one woulda bet.

Cubs 5, Pirates 0: Anthony Rizzo had four hits, Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro each knocked in two and Jake Arrieta shut the Pirates out over seven innings. If the playoffs started today the Cubs would be in the wild card game. And we’d all be shocked because, wow, playoffs in August? How cool is that?!

Blue Jays 3, Twins 1: Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki hit homers that a combined distance of [bashes calculator keys while holding a pencil behind his ear] really dang far. The Jays have won six of seven and move past Minnesota into the second wild card spot.

Royals 5, Tigers 1: Sal Perez had three hits including a homer off Justin Verlander. Perez:

“I’m just up there trying to do my job and he’s trying to do his job. Today he left a couple fastballs up, and I was able to hit them.”

Story of Verlander’s season. The Tigers are now 1-8 in his nine starts.

Giants 8, Braves 3: Hunter Pence hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the eighth and Jake Peavy was solid. It was a hot and humid night in Atlanta. The kind of heat that holds ya like a mama holds her son: tight when he tries to walk, even tighter when he runs. What did you think about the humidity Jake?

“I love the humidity,” said Peavy, who is from Mobile, Ala. “Certainly I’ve gotten away from it, but when I come home, I feel good. I’ve pitched in this weather all my life. I love it.”

In other words, Jake Peavy is a monster.

Reds 3, Cardinals 2: Anthony DeSclafani struck out nine Cardinals in six innings. Tidbit from the AP gamer said that DeSclafani is the most experienced starter in the Reds rotation right now. Which, holy crap, is true. He has 26 career starts.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: This is my eighth year doing these recaps, and over that time I’ve learned pretty quickly what the key takeaway of a game is based on either a quick glance at the box score or the lede graf of the game story. Most of the work is not figuring that out but, rather, trying to find something interesting to say about games that didn’t really have an obvious key takeaway. If you read these every day you know well that oftentimes I don’t think of anything interesting to say. There are a couple thousand baseball games a year. Not all of them are exciting.

This one, however, may be the single most difficult one I’ve ever encountered given the weird and narrow parameters of what I’m doing here with this feature. The Astros lost but so did the Angels so there was no playoff movement. Carlos Gomez had a couple of RBI and homered, but he was on the losing team, so that doesn’t lead. Prince Fielder homered but it was just a solo shot and no Ranger batter had a truly big night. Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo got a win but it was a fairly non-descript win. When I can’t find anything that jumps out in the box score I go to the gamer but here the gamer spends the first nine of its paragraphs on the closer who got the save.

Anyway: when the recap post goes up closer to 8AM than 7AM, a lot of time it has to do with me staring at a box score of a game like this wondering just what in the hell it means in the grand scheme of thing. Some of them don’t mean all that much I guess.

Rays 11, White Sox 3: Tampa Bay hit four homers, two of them off Chris Sale, who has given up seven runs in each of his last two starts and 20 runs in his last four. Which, um, kinda concerning?

Brewers 4, Padres 1: Jimmy Nelson allowed three hits and no earned runs in six and two-thirds. In a lost season, Nelson emerging as a solid starter is about as good a thing the Brewers have had all year.

Mariners 10, Rockies 4: Nelson Cruz homered in his fifth straight game. That’s the second time he’s had a streak of five this season. Jon Gray made his major league debut for Colorado. He had a 33-pitch first inning and allowed three runs on five hits, striking out four in four innings. He’ll see better days.

Indians 2, Angels 0: Exhibit A in the case against anyone who is still a big fan of pitcher win as Carlos Carrasco tossed a one-hitter over nine innings, striking out seven and needing only 100 pitches . . . yet got a no-decision because the Indians couldn’t score in regulation. Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela saved the day for the team, however, by hitting a two-run homer in the 12th.

Athletics 5, Orioles 0: Chris Bassitt tossed seven shutout innings and Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer for some added insurance. Brett Lawrie had an RBI triple and Eric Sogard scored twice.

Cole Hamels throws a no-hitter at Wrigley Field against the Cubs


Update #3 (6:43 PM EST): Hamels finished off his no-hitter, getting Addison Russell to ground out, struck out Dexter Fowler, then with a full count got Kris Bryant to fly out to Odubel Herrera in center field — making a ridiculous catch — on his 129th pitch of the afternoon.


Update #2 (6:26 PM EST): The Phillies tacked on two runs in the top of the eighth on a little league home run, pushing their lead to 5-0. Hamels doubled but was stranded. He went back out to the mound and brought his no-hitter into the ninth. He retired Starlin Castro and David Ross on fly balls (Odubel Herrera made a spectacular catch in left-center on the fly ball hit by Ross), then Schwarber grounded back to Hamels for a 1-3 putout. He’s thrown 112 pitches.


Update (6:06 PM EST): Hamels struck out the side in the seventh, retiring Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, and Chris Denorfia on strikes to carry his no-hitter into the eighth inning. He now has 12 strikeouts and has thrown 99 pitches.


Phillies starter Cole Hamels, making what could be his final start for the team that drafted him, is absolutely dealing at Wrigley Field against the Cubs this Saturday evening. The lefty has yet to allow a hit through six innings. The only blemishes on his record are two walks: to Dexter Fowler to lead off the game and to Fowler again with two outs in the sixth. Hamels has struck out nine while throwing 85 pitches.

The Phillies gave Hamels three runs of support on a Ryan Howard three-run home run off of Jake Arrieta in the third inning.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark quoted an unnamed baseball executive on Friday, who said that Hamels’ start against the Cubs could be his most important for the Ruben Amaro , Jr. administration, despite having pitched in the World Series for the club in 2009. The Phillies are rebuilding and Hamels is by far the team’s most valuable trade asset.

Hamels entered the start with a 3.91 ERA and a 124/37 K/BB ratio in 119 2/3 innings.

We’ll keep you updated as Hamels attempts to keep the Cubs hitless over the final three innings. Hamels has never officially thrown a no-hitter, but was the starter on September 1 in Atlanta against the Braves last year when he banded together with Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon to toss a combined no-hitter. The Cubs have baseball’s longest active streak of not being no-hit at 7,931 games, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax tossed a perfect game against them on September 9, 1965.

Cole Hamels’ trade value shouldn’t change based on Saturday’s start, but it might

Cole Hamels

On Friday afternoon, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweeted the thoughts of an unnamed baseball executive, who said this of the Phillies’ starter Saturday versus the Cubs, Cole Hamels:

“He’s pitched in playoffs & WS. But for that front office this may be biggest start he’s ever had”

The implication, of course, is that Hamels’ trade value stands to change based on how well he performs at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon. The lefty heads into the start with 1,921 career innings over which he’s compiled a 3.31 ERA with a strikeout-to-walk ratio approaching four-to-one. Among starters who have accrued at least 500 innings since 2010, Hamels has the seventh-best ERA.

Hamels has a mediocre 3.91 ERA this season, however, and has been hammered in each of his last two starts. He allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Giants on July 10, and five runs in three innings against the Marlins on Sunday. His track record over 1,921 innings should be weighted significantly more than his last 6 1/3 innings and what he does Saturday.

John Stolnis at SB Nation’s Phillies blog The Good Phight raises a good point. What his trade value should be contingent on is one thing, but what it actually is based on is another thing. And there many be a handful of front office types who will decide whether or not to pursue Hamels in a trade based on what they see him do against the likes of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Jorge Soler. It’s not good science and it’s not a good methodology on which to base important business decisions, but it’s used nevertheless. So that unnamed executive very well may be right: Hamels’ start against the Cubs on Saturday could be the most important start he’s made since helping the team win Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.