Anthony Rizzo finds the silver lining in loss to Brewers: ‘It's good to get smacked in the face a little bit'


Anthony Rizzo watching his majestic dinger off Josh Hader could've been one of those signature moments in the story of the 2018 Cubs.

Instead, the Cubs wound up watching as Christian Yelich narrowly beat Kris Bryant's throw to first base, prompting a huge celebration from the Brewers on the infield at Miller Park on Labor Day.

Rizzo's two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning spun a 2-1 Cubs deficit into a 3-2 Cubs lead and represented the first home run Hader has EVER allowed to a left-handed hitter in the big leagues.

It also was the second time this season the Cubs had gotten to the Brewers' ace reliever in Miller Park, but Milwaukee still found a way to end the holiday weekend four games back in the division.

That doesn't mean the Cubs will spend much time wallowing in the loss.

"It's good to get smacked in the face a little bit. Everything isn't gonna go our way all the time," said Rizzo, who talked up the way his team battled.

Thanks to a stretch where they won 10 of 12 entering play Monday, the Cubs put themselves in such a good position that even in a worst-case scenario this week (getting swept in Milwaukee) they would still be in first place by at least two games as they boarded a plane to D.C. for a date with the Nationals Thursday.

It was the 10th walk-off loss for the Cubs in 2018 (which ranks second-most in baseball) as the bullpen melted down in the eighth and ninth innings with both Carl Edwards Jr. and Steve Cishek struggling with their command.

Both Edwards and manager Joe Maddon were unhappy with a full-count pitch to Ryan Braun that was called a ball (Maddon and Edwards were later ejected for arguing). 

Edwards insisted it was a strike while Maddon admitted the pitch was borderline and he was mostly arguing with home plate umpire Gabe Morales because he had to defend his player.

But that Braun walk only loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning - the Cubs still held a 3-2 lead until Edwards walked the next hitter (Mike Moustakas) on four pitches.

In the ninth, Cishek walked the leadoff hitter, hit the next batter and then after a strikeout, hit Lorenzo Cain to load the bases and set the table for Yelich's heroics.

"It's just another game," Maddon said. "We gotta put this one in the rearview mirror. We played well. See, whenever you play well and lose, I have no issues whatsoever.

"When you play poorly, that's something that can last for a while. We played well. We came back. Our usual highly reliable bullpen had a tough afternoon."

Bryant echoed his manager's thoughts.

"It was a tough game, but they beat us," he said. "I think we kinda shot ourselves in the foot a little bit by not taking advantage of some opportunities.

"But other than that, I mean, it was a great game all around. The fans were into it. It was loud - it was a nice playoff atmosphere. We can't hang our heads in this."

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