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VIDEO: Anthony Rizzo destroys first pitch he sees

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

More MLB: Scoreboard | Standings | Probable Pitchers | Sortable Stats | Odds

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo didn't hit a home run all spring. So when I constantly stress that spring stats don't mean much, remember this -- which happened on the first pitch Rizzo saw in the 2013 regular season:

That very nearly left PNC Park to center field, hitting the fence behind the back row. Early estimates pegged the blast at 438 feet. Shortstop Starlin Castro singled before Rizzo, so it was a two-run blast, and it was all Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija needed.

The Cubs won, 3-1, behind Rizzo, Castro (2-for-4, R, SB), catcher Welington Castillo (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI) and a dominant Samardzija (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 BB).

Obviously the 2013 Cubs are built with their eyes on the future, but performances from that foursome are reminders that the future nucleus is already starting to take shape.

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