HOUSTON -- Eleven years ago Tuesday, Alfonso Soriano was a 25-year-old second baseman with the New York Yankees trying to finish off a stellar rookie season.
The whole tone of that season changed on Sept. 11, 2001, when New York City and the country was attacked by terrorists.
On Tuesday, Soriano, now a 36-year-old left fielder with the Cubs, reflected on the experience of playing for a city dealing with a tragedy.
"Eleven years, time flies," Soriano said. "That was my first year in the big leagues. Now it's 11 years. It's a long time."
The Yankees visited Ground Zero shortly after the attacks and quickly had to focus on playoff baseball.
"I just remember when that happened, the most important thing was how we played in the playoffs that year for the city," Soriano said. "We tried to give what the city needed at the moment."
The Yankees knocked off the A's and Mariners to advance to the World Series. In Game 7 against the D-backs in Arizona, Soriano hit a solo homer in the eighth inning to put the Yankees six outs away from a world championship.
The D-backs rallied in the bottom of the ninth, though, and took the title on Luis Gonzalez's walk-off RBI single.
"We came up short, but we played very good," Soriano said. "We won all three games in New York. All three games were very exciting. That motivation was good for a lot of people in New York."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum was home in Arizona on Sept. 11, 2001, a few days after the Double-A Altoona club he managed concluded its season. He saw the news on Good Morning America.
Five members of the first-response team sent from Houston to New York threw out ceremonial first pitches at Minute Maid Park to commemorate the 11th observance of 9/11. Soriano remembered how the Yankees felt giving New York something to cheer about.
"Everybody was proud to give something to the city that it needed at that moment," Soriano said.
Rizzo day to day with bruised right shoulder
HOUSTON -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is day to day with a bruised right shoulder after colliding with Astros first baseman Brett Wallace in the third inning in Tuesday's 1-0 loss.
Rizzo hit a ground ball to Astros second baseman Jimmy Paredes, who made a high throw to first base that Wallace jumped in the air to try to catch. The ball whizzed over Wallace's glove and into the Astros' dugout.
Rizzo, trying to beat the throw, tangled legs with Wallace, shot up in the air and landed hard on the ground. He stayed on the ground for a few moments before walking off the field with help.
"I was really stunned and dazed at first," Rizzo said. "I think that's why I didn't move. I think I was checking out everything to make sure everything was OK. I got up and I was still stunned, but it kind of wore off. I'm now just more sore than anything."
Joe Mather pinch-ran and stayed in the game in right field. Bryan LaHair moved from right field to first base.
After the game, Rizzo said he was getting lots of text messages and phone calls wondering about his condition. His teammates weren't taking it as seriously -- several of them in the clubhouse watched the replay over and over on an IPad.
"I looked like a gymnast," Rizzo said. "I felt like [I was] catapulting a little bit. It was an ugly fall."
Manager Dale Sveum said he was glad Rizzo is OK.
"I think tomorrow, he'll probably wake up pretty darn stiff," Sveum said. "I think it'll just be a day-to-day thing."
Jackson out of lineup for fourth straight game
HOUSTON -- If Brett Jackson was going to make a start in Houston after bruising his right knee in Pittsburgh on Friday, it probably would've happened on Tuesday against Astros right-hander Jordan Lyles.
Jackson was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game, though, and manager Dale Sveum said that Jackson probably wouldn't start until Friday. He'll be available on Wednesday, but with the Cubs facing left-hander Fernando Abad, Jackson is unlikely to crack the lineup.
"It's just still stiff and sore," Sveum said. "He might be available [to pinch-hit Tuesday], actually. We'll see how the running goes."
Jackson injured the knee crashing into the outfield wall at PNC Park while making an outstanding catch. Sveum said Jackson would come out to the field early on Wednesday to do some running and then take regular batting practice.
With Jackson on the mend, David DeJesus started in center field for the first time since Aug. 11. Alfonso Soriano manned left field and Bryan LaHair started in right field. LaHair hadn't started since Aug. 30 against the Brewers.
Second baseman Darwin Barney got a day off on Tuesday after starting the last 22 games for the Cubs. Adrian Cardenas started at second and batted eighth.
"It's just a time to get the other guys a start here," manager Dale Sveum said. "He's played a lot of games in a row again. We'll give him a little breather."
Entering Tuesday's game, Barney had appeared in 136 games, second most on the team behind shortstop Starlin Castro (141).
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.