Anthony Rizzo on makeup game: 'It's kind of a joke, so why not keep joking?'

ByEddie Matz via ESPN logo
Friday, September 14, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Amid a marathon stretch in the schedule, Anthony Rizzo resorted to desperate measures.

Following Wednesday night's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs slugger dressed in full uniform for the team's overnight flight to Washington, where Chicago played a makeup game against the Nationals before heading right back to the Windy City for a weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Thursday morning, shortly after 9, Rizzo posted pictures from the flight on Twitter with the caption, "Staying game ready."

Five hours later, he walked off the team bus and into the visitors clubhouse at Nationals Park, still wearing the same uniform: alternate blue jersey, gray pants and cleats.

"I was just kind of having fun throughout a tough stretch in the season," said Rizzo, standing in front of his locker. "I mean, we're flying into a state of emergency with rain in the forecast. It's kind of a joke, so why not keep joking around about it and just have fun?"

Rizzo went 2-for-5 on Thursday, and the Cubs won 4-3 in 10 innings.

Originally, Chicago was supposed to be off Thursday, but after a wet weekend that resulted in Sunday's game against the Nationals being washed out, plans changed.

Rather than wait until the end of the season to make up the game, if needed, MLB opted to send the Cubs on Thursday to D.C., where the threat of inclement weather has been lingering for days because of Hurricane Florence.

"What can you do?" said Rizzo, who claims he didn't even bring a change of clothes on the trip and slept in his uniform, and who plans on traveling back to Chicago on Thursday night in the same attire he wore on the inbound flight.

"At the end of the day, our front office, our owner, they have our back. We're in a long stretch of games. There's people in MLB that have been on the players' side. They understand the human element of it, and they seem not to care at all. So it is what it is. We can sit here and complain about [it], or we can joke about it. I'll take the joking around part -- a lot more fun."

Thursday marked the 24th straight day that the Cubs had a scheduled game. They next host Cincinnati for three games, then travel to Arizona for three more before finally getting a break next Thursday.

Over the past 24 days, the NL Central-leading Cubs have posted a 14-9 record but are just 7-8 in their past 15 games. Meanwhile, the second-place Brewers have won 11 of 14, including two of three vs. Chicago earlier this week. Milwaukee, which was off Thursday, sits 1 games behind the Cubs.

Following Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Milwaukee, the Cubs hopped a flight to Washington and didn't get into their hotel rooms until about 4 a.m. ET. Despite the tumultuous schedule, Rizzo's antics seemed to give his fellow Cubs a lift.

"To see him on the plane like that," teammate Kris Bryant said, "it made everybody get over the loss a little quicker and a lot happier."

Manager Joe Maddon, whose team is known for its creative road trip attire, was disappointed that Rizzo's move was a surprise.

"I wish he had said something sooner because we all could have done it," Maddon said. "I would have done it in a heartbeat."

In his first at-bat against the Nationals on Thursday, Rizzo lined a single to the gap in left-center field, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

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