Paging Anthony Rizzo. Paging Anthony Rizzo. Please report to the NL Division Series.
Maybe it's me, but I don't think an MVP candidate should be getting out-hit by the likes of Conor Gillaspie and Joe Panik, not to mention one's own pitchers.
Rizzo went 0-for-7 in the two games in Wrigley Field and nearly matched that in the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Giants in 13 innings in Game 3 in San Francisco.
While you were sleeping, Rizzo went 0-for-6 on Monday night and Tuesday morning, failing to drive in runs in his first three at-bats. He struck out twice and looked awful on many swings, seeming to end up on one knee much of the time. Rizzo has looked so overmatched that it reminds me of his 2013.
Remarkably for a guy with an on-base percentage of .385 and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .928 this season, Rizzo has failed to walk in 13 plate plate appearances in this series.
Geez, he hasn't even been hit by a pitch.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he doesn't think Rizzo is pressing, although I don't know how he avoids it.
All Rizzo could say in his defense was, "It's baseball."
It would've been amazing if the Cubs had managed to win Game 3 and sweep the Giants in a series in which Rizzo didn't get a hit.
But the Cubs didn't win Game 3. They didn't wrap up the series. They still have a lead and they still have a problem: a big hole in the three-hole.
Rizzo can't wait for Game 4 starter John Lackey to bail him out with a home run. It's supposed to be the other way around.
But I'll say this for Rizzo: He won the dugout's Jake Arrieta Home Run Dance Contest.
Some of the MVP talk I heard the last month of the season centered on Kris Bryant not coming up as big as Rizzo late in a game. Ahem.
Out of habit, I had Patrick Kane scoring the winner.
No, I didn't think the Cubs would win the Madison Bumgarner game. And no, I didn't think that's how they'd lose it.
The Cubs' hopes of a sweep against a team that doesn't die ended when the triple-digit closer who was supposed to be the last piece of a World Series winner surrendered a game-changing, two-run triple to a former White Sox. 'Course.
Oh, and until that at-bat, Gillaspie had not driven in a run off a left-hander all season. 'Course.
You can blame the Cubs bullpen for blowing Game 3 in the eighth inning, but Cubs hitters went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and one of those hits was Jake Arrieta's three-run homer.
A couple more innings, and I believe Mike Montgomery would've been credited with a quality start.
Maddon said he felt he had to make the move, but I don't think he had to take out the best right fielder in baseball in favor of Albert Almora Jr. when he brought in closer Aroldis Chapman for a six-out save.
Instead, Maddon could've double-switched rookie catcher Willson Contreras in favor of veteran David Ross, batting Ross one spot higher than Jason Heyward, who made the last out in the top half of the eighth inning.
If Maddon had done that, then he would've had a left-handed outfielder instead of a right-hander -- and a taller outfielder -- running to his right into the deepest part of the pinball machine that is AT&T Park and likely catching the drive.
And before you bring up the idea that Heyward probably wouldn't have made the spectacular diving catch of a Buster Posey drive that Almora Jr. turned into a double play in the ninth inning, let me point out that had Heyward made the Gillaspie play, he wouldn't have had to make that Posey play.
Talk about a two-strike approach: Addison Russell was hit by a pitch with two strikes, Javier Baez singled with two strikes, and Arrieta homered with two strikes. The Cubs worked Bumgarner and then worked him over.
Everybody saw Rizzo's foot come off the bag in the sixth inning, but the replay officials upheld the call that Baez made the defensive play of the postseason. Or, you know, just the usual for him.
Giants reliever Derek Law sure likes his strikeouts, doesn't he?
Did the sound from my TV continually cut out during big moments in San Francisco because of my wonky Comcast connection or because Fox Sports' equipment doesn't work when there's a lot of cheering? Maybe Fox Sports hadn't heard, but there's a lot of cheering in baseball in October.
The Cubs and Giants produced a tremendous and dramatic playoff game that Major League Baseball made sure the next generation couldn't see because of a ridiculous 8:40 p.m. CT first pitch.
What's up, Steve Ontiveros?