Bryzzo treats Cubs fans to a feel-good win at Wrigley
With the trade deadline less than a week away, it’s apparent change is coming for the Cubs in some capacity.
But for one perfect summer afternoon at Wrigley Field, all those questions faded away and the 32,602 Cubs fans in attendance were treated to a feel-good win Sunday.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers in the 1st inning to spark the Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Diamondbacks. It was the seventh time “Bryzzo” has gone back-to-back in their Cubs careers and the first instance since May 24, 2019.
“That really lifted us nicely early on,” David Ross said of the 1st-inning homers.
“It was nice,” Rizzo agreed. “It’s always fun, especially when one person hits a home run and the next guy comes up and hits one and the crowd goes crazy. That’s the energy and exciting part of all of it.”
David Bote also crushed a homer in his first game back since late May. He was activated off the IL prior to the game and missed nearly two months with a left shoulder injury.
The Cubs received a stellar start from Trevor Williams, who did not walk a batter in 6.1 shutout innings. He struck out 6 and lowered his season ERA to 5.06 with the gem. Craig Kimbrel came into the game with a couple runners on in the 9th inning and picked up his 23rd save of the season.
“For me personally, I’ve been waiting a long time to pitch in front of a full Wrigley,” said Williams, who went on the IL in late May after an appendectomy. “I got to see and feel a full Wrigley for us from the dugout and I was really itching to get back and finally pitch in front of a stadium like we had today. It’s special and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
“To have the crowd erupt like that early on in the game, it was huge for us to really carry that momentum throughout the rest of the game.”
With the win, the Cubs improved to 49-51 on the season heading into the four-game series with the Reds this week at Wrigley Field. The trade deadline is a few hours before first pitch of the Cubs’ game in Washington D.C. Friday afternoon.
Ross knows the uncertainty and the anxiety brought about by the July 30 deadline has had some impact on his team over the last month, no matter how hard they tried to tune it out.
“When you create some narratives like that, it just adds a little bit of distraction,” Ross said. “You try not to, for sure. You try to control what you can control.”
Ross didn’t want to answer for his players but he acknowledged it was only natural for human beings to be impacted by the potential of life-changing decisions from the front office.
“I think we would be naive to say it hasn’t affected it,” Ross said. “Looking up at the board, the numbers of these guys — it’s very uncharacteristic of who they’ve been. That has to be a factor.”
Independent of the moves Jed Hoyer’s front office makes at the trade deadline, Ross and his coaching staff are focused on the task at hand.
Even if things haven’t gone the Cubs’ way the last month or so, the ultra-competitive manager is still talking about getting back into the divisional race and righting the ship in August and September.
“I’ve been on teams that have been in situations where other teams caught you with big leads,” Ross said. “I don’t think getting away from competing and trying to win on a daily basis is even on the radar. That’s where we still keep our focus and how we can be the best version of us — whatever that looks like.”