T 1st; -.-
STL 1 – CHC 3
Anthony Rizzo hit leadoff on Friday for the first time this season. He’s the 6th player Joe Maddon has inserted into the leadoff spot in 2019, and the first player other than Kyle Schwarber to lead off for the Cubs in the past 21 games.
Rizzo has made several cameos in the leadoff role over the past two seasons, most notably during a stretch last year where he hit leadoff in 27 of 28 games, part of which included a run of 20 games in-a-row. Only Albert Almora led off more games (46) in 2018 than Rizzo (31).
This season Maddon turned to Schwarber in mid-May as his full-time table setter — a sharp contrast to last season when Schwarber led off in only one game. Schwarber had not seen consecutive games batting leadoff since the 2017 campaign when he opened the year as the everyday leadoff man – an experiment that failed miserably and concluded with the slugger hitting .165 avg. at the beginning of June.
Rizzo entered Friday’s game with a career .317 average and .409 on-base percentage from the top spot in the order; numbers which he would improve upon against the Cardinals.
Rizzo led off the bottom of the first with a walk. He stole second and later scored on Javy Báez’s HR to RF for 2-0 Cubs lead.
In his second at-bat, he grounded out to third.
Rizzo singled in his third trip, then was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Kris Bryant’s double.
In his fourth at-bat, Rizzo was intentionally walked.
RIZZO BOX SCORE: (1-2)
2019 CUBS LEADOFF BATTERS
Number of games:
21 – Schwarber
14 – Zobrist
11 – Descalso
09 – Almora
06 – Heyward
01 – Rizzo
NEXT – Sat. vs. STL, 6:15 p.m. CT
Jack Flaherty (4-3, 3.76)
Jon Lester (4-4, 3.32)