Anthony Rizzo Feels 'Great' In Return, But Cubs Still Fall To Cardinals

Rizzo went 0-of-3 with a walk and hit by pitch after missing eight games.

Bruce Levine
April 17, 2018 - 11:37 pm
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler, left, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


By Bruce Levine--

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The cold weather considered, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo believed his individual return to game action went well in his team's 5-3 loss to the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Tuesday evening.

Rizzo returned after missing the previous eight games with lower back tightness, and he did so on a night that featured a game-time temperature of 35 degrees and a wind chill that dipped into the 20s.

"I feel great," Rizzo said after his first action since April 5. "I felt good. Fortunately, it wasn't really windy out there. We played through it. We just came up short today."

Rizzo went 0-of-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch, which came in his first plate appearance. Rizzo has struggled in his limited action this season, going 3-of-31 in seven games. The Cubs went 4-4 in his absence before falling to 7-8 with the loss Tuesday.

"Definitely over the last four days, I felt ready to go," Rizzo said. "I have been swinging it a little harder, ramping it up to get close to game speed. I think we have been smart with it and hopefully, this will be the end of it."

Rizzo doesn't expect to change his workload in preparation for games, whether it's taking swings in batting practice or ground balls.

"I have a simple routine," Rizzo said. "It's pretty simple when it comes to hitting and taking grounders. If I do any less, I will probably have to stop doing it in general."

Earlier Tuesday, Rizzo -- fresh off his injury rehab and as weather wreaks havoc on the MLB schedule -- had advocated for shortening the 162-game season. He backed off that a bit late Tuesday.

"I have been talking three or four years as a normal person about that in my humble opinion," Rizzo said. "Do I think we have to do that? No. That was just my opinion. I also said in the interview that I just play first base. So I know my lane too." 

Despite a 7-8 start, the Cubs aren't over-analzying their uneven play, citing in part the weather that has made it difficult to find a rhythm.

"You can let the weather make you miserable or you can just go out there and play," Rizzo said. "We know sunny days are coming both on the field and as a group. We just need to keep playing through it."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.