Star slugger Anthony Rizzo hit a soft liner for the Chicago Cubs’ final out, which only seemed fitting.
While the rest of Chicago’s lineup can take consolation knowing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is about to get a few days off, Rizzo and shortstop Addison Russell won’t share in that small solace. The duo that totaled 204 RBIs in the regular season is a combined 2 for 45 through six games in the postseason.
Kershaw only underscored their struggles during Los Angeles’ 1-0 win Sunday night that tied the NL Championship Series at a game apiece.
Rizzo and Russell were key contributors for baseball’s best regular season team, but both have made everyone look unhittable in October, even as Chicago rolled past San Francisco in four games during an NL Division Series.
Rizzo batted .292 with 32 home runs and 109 RBIs during the regular season. He’s gone 1 for 23 in the playoffs with just a single and three walks.
Russell hit only .238 in the regular season, but contributed plenty of power, with 21 homers and 95 RBIs. Yet, like Rizzo, he’s got only a single in his 22 at-bats.
Kershaw yielded only two hits in seven innings and Rizzo was the beneficiary of the left-hander’s only walk. He also turned on a 1-1 fastball in the fourth inning for a towering shot that cleared the outfield wall in right by plenty — it landed on Sheffield Avenue, behind Wrigley Field — but hooked just outside the foul pole. Kershaw threw high and tight on the next pitch, then coaxed Rizzo into grounding out. That and a flyout to center in the first inning were the best Rizzo could do.
It was closer than Russell, who grounded out in his first at-bat then produced a pair or routine flyouts.