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Anthony Rizzo makes pitching debut after Luke Farrell rocked early in Cubs' 7-1 loss || RIGHTBD

Anthony Rizzo vowed he will retire from pitching after fulfilling his long-awaited wish Monday night.
And the Cubs hope they won’t fall into many more predicaments as they did in a 7-1 loss to the Diamondbacks that caused manager Joe Maddon to summon Rizzo with two out in the top of the ninth.
“The end — that’s it,” Rizzo declared of his pitching career after inducing A.J. Pollock to fly to center on a 61 mph fastball that brought loud cheers from the remainder of a crowd of 40,859 at Wrigley Field.
“It was awesome. I promised Joe I wouldn’t blow out (my left arm). I’ve been working on that for six or seven years with (coach Mike Borzello), pretty much every day during batting practice. It was just crazy standing on that mound.”





Rizzo’s first mound appearance in his 997th major-league game followed a scoreless inning by backup catcher Victor Caratini, who was pitching for the second time in four days.
The Cubs needed Caratini and Rizzo, as well as some comic relief, after the Diamondbacks tagged Luke Farrell for five runs in the first.
Farrell was scheduled to be optioned to Triple-A Iowa as Maddon and the front office assessed their relief options immediately after the game.
“That’s the one thing we couldn’t have happen, and it happened,” Maddon said of the five-run first that led to Farrell lasting only 3 1/3 innings. “No way I’m going to warm up (Justin) Wilson, (Steve) Cishek, (Pedro) Strop, (Carl) Edwards or (Jesse) Chavez in a game like that.”
So that caused Maddon to finally resort to using Rizzo, who has pestered him for several years to pitch.
Rizzo heeded Maddon’s advice and didn’t throw with maximum effort. His first pitch to Pollock sailed wide of the strike zone at 53 mph, but he retired him on the next pitch.
“You have to have fun with it and try not to embarrass yourself at the same time,” said Rizzo, who was pleased that his parents had traveled from South Florida and were able to see him pitch. “I’m happy A.J. popped that up because he’s one of the better hitters in the league. I’m just happy it worked out. Victor threw a good sinker and got the double play and allowed that situation to happen.”
Rizzo said Maddon knew he was “giving him the eye” as soon as the situation started to develop.
“He got his shot,” Maddon said. “I don’t want to hear it again, and he conceded he’ll never pitch again.”
Rizzo recalled that when catcher David Ross pitched in 2015 in a blowout, that eventually relaxed the team and it embarked on a winning streak.
In the case of the 2018 Cubs, preserving a taxed bullpen is even more essential as they’re in the middle of a stretch of 12 games in 11 days.
“I knew the job at hand and just didn’t do it,” Farrell said.
Rizzo was dejected that he didn’t get the ball Pollock hit to center.
“Javy (Baez) threw it in the stands,” Rizzo said.
Twitter@MDGonzales

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