clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo homers in back-to-back games, but offense continues to scuffle

Rizzo homered in his first at-bat in the Cubs’ 2-1 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday.

The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Pirates on Wednesday.
The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the Pirates on Wednesday.
Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Cubs’ recent power outage has been a head-scratcher, and something that has been a strength of the team for a good part of the season has eluded it for much of September.

‘‘Home runs rarely come when you try to hit them; I know that from my baseball experience,’’ manager David Ross said before the Cubs’ 2-1 road loss Wednesday to the Pirates. ‘‘I can’t really explain the lack of power. There’s not really a lot to explain in this whole season. It’s unique in so many ways.’’

First baseman Anthony Rizzo broke the Cubs’ stretch of 59 innings without a homer with a two-run shot in their 3-2 loss Tuesday to the Pirates, and it wouldn’t be long before they got their next big fly.

Rizzo homered in his first at-bat Wednesday, taking an 0-2 changeup from Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams out of the ballpark in the first inning.

But the offense didn’t do much after that, and despite hitting some balls hard, the Cubs didn’t have anything to show for it. They now have scored one run or none in four of their last six games.

‘‘I think the biggest thing is we have to embrace the situation,’’ said outfielder Cameron Maybin, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles. “We’re still going to be in the playoffs, so we can’t feel down or feel bad. The biggest thing is trying to have professional at-bats. . . . We continue to try to have professional at-bats and continue to try to pass the baton.’’

Bote battling bumps and bruises

While third baseman Kris Bryant (oblique) tries to get back before the playoffs begin next week, the Cubs are continuing to lean on David Bote to man the position until he returns.

Bote has been the primary third baseman when Bryant has been forced to miss time this season and hasn’t missed a beat defensively.

Like many players at this point of the season, however, Bote has been dealing with some bumps and bruises. And while the Cubs have been tight-lipped about what those might be, Bote said he is ready to do the job for as long as the team needs.

‘‘An event kind of happened and [I’ve] just been grinding through, but [it’s] nothing to really keep me out,’’ Bote said. ‘‘The training staff has been incredible. We’ve been working hard to get me on the field on a nightly basis these last couple of days.

‘‘It just depends on how I feel that day. The way I’m feeling today, I can play every day from here on out. A couple of days ago, I couldn’t say that.’’