8/26/2013 9:33 P.M. ET
Batting in second spot not first choice for Rizzo
After 'uncomfortable' time at No. 2, Cubs slugger back in three-hole
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Rizzo was back where he feels he belongs in the lineup, batting third for the Cubs, and hopes he is never inserted into the No. 2 spot again.
Rizzo batted second for five games for the Cubs, and was 7-for-24, hitting two home runs in his first game there last Wednesday against the Nationals. Did it make a difference?
"No, it didn't," Rizzo said Monday. "It really didn't, in my opinion. I was very uncomfortable there in the two-hole but it was what it was and, hopefully, I never go back."
What made it uncomfortable?
"It's more an ego thing," he said. "I've never hit second in my life. If you're the second hitter, you're someone who gets guys over and bunts and slaps and what not. I think our lineup doesn't call for me hitting second. You see the Cardinals and [Carlos] Beltran hitting second, but that's because he has nowhere else to hit. I was there and I tried to make the best of it. Dale [Sveum] says it best, it's just a spot in the lineup. I just didn't like it much."
When Sveum, the Cubs manager, made the switch, he said the change was not going to be long term.
"Who knows if any of that stuff works," Sveum said. "Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't."
Rizzo was batting .177 with runners in scoring position, and part of the reason the move was made was to give him more at-bats without having to try to think about driving men in.
In December 2010, the Red Sox dealt Rizzo to the Padres as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal. Rizzo was asked if he ever talked to Gonzalez about dealing with the ups and downs of the game.
"You can't expect everyone to be Superman every day," Rizzo said. "[Gonzalez] had a good year last year, just not an Adrian Gonzalez year. ... You look at everyone's career and they've had monster years and a down year."
Does Rizzo feel he has to be Superman?
"I expect myself to be," he said. "When the time is there, I'll be where I need to be."
Just as long as he doesn't have bat second again.
"I hope it's the last time I'm ever in the two-hole, unless we have a power, monster lineup," Rizzo said. "I made the best of it there. I thought I'd have the bunt sign a couple more times and I didn't."
Cubs almost called on outfielder Bogusevic to pitch
LOS ANGELES -- If Sunday's game hadn't ended when it did, outfielder Brian Bogusevic would've switched from left field to the pitcher's mound to finish things up because the Cubs had run out of relievers.
Bogusevic was a pitcher early in his pro career, then converted to the outfield. He did fill in June 7, 2012, in an emergency situation for the Astros, pitching one inning in relief against the Cardinals.
"We were getting blown out and they knew it was coming," Bogusevic said Monday of the 14-2 loss. "They told me at the end of the seventh, beginning of the eighth that I would throw the ninth, so I knew it was coming."
The Cubs and Padres played 12 scoreless innings before both teams exchanged two runs in the 13th. The Padres eventually won, 3-2, in 15 innings.
"Yesterday was different because we weren't getting blown out," Bogusevic said. "If we would've gotten to that point [that he needed to pitch], it would've been a tie game. I don't think I'd need much time to warm up, being loose for five hours."
Does he want to pitch again in a big league game?
"I hope never," he said.
• Despite having a ball glance off his face, twisting his back and ankle during an at-bat Sunday, Nate Schierholtz was in the Cubs' lineup on Monday.
Schierholtz hurt himself on a swing in the 13th inning against the Padres. The bases were loaded, and as he was running out of the batter's box, first baseman Jesus Guzman fielded the ball and threw home, but the ball deflected off the left side of Schierholtz's batting helmet and brushed his face.
"He got pretty lucky on that one," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Schierholtz was unlikely to start Tuesday against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.
• Sunday's game, a 3-2, 15-inning loss to the Padres, marked the second time the Cubs have lost a game in which they led by two or more runs in the 13th inning or later. The other was a 13-inning loss to the Reds on April 22. The Cubs lost only one other game in that fashion over the last 50 years (1964 to date) and that was a 6-5, 15-inning loss to the Phillies on Sept. 29, 1980.
Sunday's contest also was the Cubs' 99th in franchise history that lasted at least 15 innings. They now are 47-42-10 in those 99 games.
The Cubs and Padres played to a 0-0 tie through the 12th before each team scored twice in the 13th. It's the first time the Cubs played in a scoreless game through at least 12 innings since defeating the Astros, 1-0, in 16 innings at Wrigley Field on May 31, 2003.
Even more amazing is that the Cubs played to a 0-0 tie through 12 innings on the road for the first time in more than 100 years. They last did so on the road on June 17, 1910, when the Cubs and Brooklyn were 0-0 through 12, and the Cubs tallied in the 13th for a 1-0 win.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.