Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs is helped off the field by the training staff after tripping over first baseman Brett Wallace of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The first thing you'll want to do this morning is take a deep breath, because Anthony Rizzo is OK after a scary-looking collision with Houston's Brett Wallace in which he fell on his right shoulder in Tuesday night's 1-0 Cubs loss to the Astros.
"I hit his leg and I looked like a gymnast," Rizzo said. "I felt like I was catapulting a little bit. It was an ugly fall."
After lying motionless for a few minutes and being tended to by the Cubs' trainers, Rizzo eventually walked to the dugout on his own.
"No major problems, except his right shoulder is pretty sore where he came down on it," manager Dale Sveum said. "Might have got some whiplash stuff, but his head is fine now. No leg (injury) and he ended up being OK, after what it looked like. Thank God for that."
With just one game remaining in this series and then a day off, Rizzo's likely to sit until Friday. Sounds like he'll be fine. The rest of Tuesday night's game was... not fine.
The game was another ugly mess; the teams combined for four errors and five walks. Just one run was scored -- I guess you could call that progress; Cubs pitchers gave up no earned runs! Hooray! You couldn't really call any of their performances "good", though. Every time you looked up, Astros runners were on base. Most of them stayed there -- Houston left eight men on base. The Cubs stranded 11 runners, including Starlin Castro, who was officially "stranded" when he should have scored the tying run on a fly ball by Darwin Barney to center field in the sixth inning. Castro failed to score because Dave Sappelt was thrown out at third to end the inning before he (Castro) touched the plate.
And in that same sequence, Castro was held at third on Sappelt's double when there was a small chance he would have scored. Maybe he'd have been thrown out -- but the end result, no runs in the inning, would have been the same.
The Cubs were 0-for-10 with RISP. They struck out 11 times, including three by Steve Clevenger. They had just four hits (three singles and Sappelt's double) off six Houston pitchers, three of whom I had even heard of before Tuesday night.
Again, a very small crowd (14,205 announced, maybe half that many in the house) watched the game, and even with the home team winning, it appeared that just a few hundred stuck around to see the Astros win. It was Houston's third win in their last five games. That might not seem like a lot, but it was just their 13th win (against 51 defeats) since July 1. It was also Houston's third 1-0 win this year (the Cubs, by comparison, have just one of those).
And, again, it slogged on for more than three hours, although the 3:11 game length was over half an hour shorter than Monday night's mess. Maybe by tonight the teams can figure out how to squeeze one of these things out in fewer than three hours.
Or not. And the teams have one more series to play, to end the season at Wrigley Field in three weeks. Oh, joy.