The two pitches it took Anthony Rizzo to secure the last out of the top of the ninth Monday night was all Joe Maddon needed to see.
“With Brandon [Morrow] on the shelf, we need someone who can slam the door at the end of games,” said Maddon. “Anthony is the logical choice.”
Neither of Rizzo’s pitches were exactly the blazing stuff of a conventional closer — topping out around 60 MPH — but nothing Joe Maddon does is conventional.
“We figured Anthony wasn’t your typical leadoff hitter, and he’s been doing just fine there,” said Maddon. “So we’ll plug him in as closer and see what happens.”
Added Maddon: “Maybe he’ll even get the occasional spot start. He wouldn’t be any less effective than [Luke] Farrell was.”