Sports

Good time for Cubs to leave and Rizzo to arrive

The Cubs will leave town and then figure to call up Anthony Rizzo, and that’s the right order.

The headache-inducing rules regarding free agency forced the Cubs to wait until a certain number of days had expired during the season. Don’t ask. Just take my word for it. The safe period for the Cubs to bring up Rizzo from Triple-A and also control his rights for the most years comes this weekend.

Perfect: Better to start the left-handed slugger in Arizona and even New York -- anyplace but Chicago. Cubs fans and the media don’t know how to handle phenoms. Our speakers go to 11. Rizzo is better off opening his Cubs career on Comcast SportsNet and WGN than Clark and Addison.

I know Rizzo has been in the majors before, but never as a Cub. Rizzo came up last season with the Padres after being the gem in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. That’s a bigger burden than being the gem in the Andrew Cashner trade. But San Diego is nothing compared to Chicago. In Chicago, sports matter. In San Diego, sports come after the zoo, Sea World and SPF 15.

Nobody builds up prospects like Cubs fans and the local media. It’s what we do here. Guilty, your honor. I think we’re on the 20th Second Coming. What’s worse, the grandiose expectations grow exponentially when the Cubs stink and there’s a savior in magical Iowa. Hel-LO.

So, whether by design or service time, I like the idea of almost a week in uniform before Babe Rizzo's beatification at the shrine.

The White Sox needed a game from Gavin Floyd to salvage something in this series.

Floyd needed a game to salvage his spot in the rotation.

Floyd was coming off a string of five losses in six starts in which he had allowed 35 earned runs and wore a 10.38 ERA. Ugly with a capital Ugh. Floyd and Philip Humber seemed to be battling to see who would be sent to the bullpen first.

Both of them probably escaped that assignment when John Danks remained on the disabled list, but Floyd certainly did it with his outing against the Cubs on Wednesday night. He exited to a standing ovation after giving up no runs, four hits and one walk while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings. It was the kind of game he gave the Sox in four starts before his recent bad stretch.

Floyd delivered shutdown innings in the fourth and fifth after the Sox scored, then produced a Peavy-like sixth when he mowed down the heart of the Cubs order after Starlin Castro led off with a triple.

With Floyd, you never know. He might have no-hit stuff. He also might have no chance. On Wednesday, Floyd gave the Sox something they desperately needed. Something he desperately needed, too.

Floyd also got a huge play from Eduardo Escobar, who made a diving stop on the line and threw out Darwin Barney leading off the second. Floyd had a great curveball, so he might’ve gotten out of it, but it seemed that play gave him some confidence.

Reed Johnson’s throw from right to third that almost got Alex Rios in the seventh inning didn’t hurt his trade value.

None of the three City Series games drew 35,000. The Sox are probably upset that the Cubs didn’t call up Rizzo on Monday.

Same probably goes for the Cubs, who went from 12 runs to two to nothing.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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