Anthony Rizzo is only focused on winning the division


Anthony Rizzo isn't focused on anything but winning the NL Central, which to Rizzo, means all he's worried about is the next pitch. Rizzo shared his thoughts on David Kaplan's ESPN 1000 radio show this morning, discussing the Cubs fighting for their third-straight NL Central crown.

"The most important thing to focus on is we need to win a baseball game today. You look at the scoreboard and you see what’s going on. You can’t control the uncontrollable, so right now in situations like this you really have to go to all the basics."

The Cubs currently hold a slim half-game lead over the Brewers after dropping the first two games of their series with the Pirates, while the Brewers have continued to refuse to lose games. But the bigger issue is the Cubs inability to score runs this month, despite a few outbursts this weekend against the White Sox, the Cubs offense has been one of the worst groups in September.

'We need to drive in runs, that’s for sure. When you get guys in scoring position, you can’t think about [being the guy to step up] because you’ll be in a hole real quick. If we start trying to hit four-run home runs every time, I don’t think it’s going to end too good." 

Rizzo also mentioned that the Pirates had two of their better pitchers on the mound Monday and Tuesday night in Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer, as the Cubs struck out a combined 14 times against the Pirates duo. But it's not just the Pirates pitchers, the Cubs, in general, seem to be lacking patience at the plate, seeing their season walk total dip from 9% to 7% this month. 

And it doesn't seem like the fans are feeling confident in the Cubbies winning this division at the moment. 

Having patient hitter like Kris Bryant healthy and back in the lineup was thought to help, but Bryant is expected to miss Wednesday's game after getting hit in the wrist Tuesday night. But Rizzo still feels Bryant's bat will help take the Cubs where they want to go.

"I think when Kris is in the lineup we have a totally different lineup. Everyone goes through ups and downs, hopefully, the last 12 hours have helped his wrist. But I think Kris is going to have a lot of big hits when it’s all said and done." 

With only five more games to go on the season, Rizzo and the Cubs know they don't have time to soul-search, they need to grind out at-bats and win baseball games. From here on out, every game is essentially a playoff game, and Rizzo says he's ready to fight for the division crown.

"At this time, this is where we are at and we gotta embrace it. We gotta flip the energy to winning this division and not worrying about anything else."

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