Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 81

A well-deserved standing ovation for Jake Arrieta from the Fenway Park crowd. - Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs reach the halfway point of the season in style, with Jake Arrieta coming up just four outs short of a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory.

Interesting tidbit: Had Arrieta actually thrown the no-no, it would have likely led to Starlin Castro being a rare negative hero on the night as only one hitter had a WPA above zero.

Graphs for Game 81 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game-81

Stats for Game 81:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

J Arrieta

7.2

1

0

0

1

10

0.93

0.491

H Rondon

1

1

0

0

0

0

1.98

0.094

P Strop

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

1.52

0.044

Total

9

2

0

0

1

10

1.06

0.629

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

C Coghlan

4

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.72

-0.042

R Sweeney

3

0

1

0

0

1

0

0.67

-0.021

A Rizzo

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.74

-0.074

S Castro

3

0

1

0

0

1

1

0.72

-0.010

L Valbuena

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

0.87

-0.068

W Castillo

3

1

0

0

0

1

2

0.67

-0.044

N Schierholtz

4

1

2

1

2

0

1

0.63

0.251

J Lake

4

0

0

0

0

0

4

0.57

-0.061

D Barney

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.74

-0.060

Total

31

2

5

1

2

4

11

0.71

-0.129

Writer's Note: The daily selections of the three Heroes and three Goats are based solely on the top three and bottom three WPA scores for the game. The selections are not based on my subjective opinion.

THE THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero - Jake Arrieta (.491). Man, what a performance. Who would have guessed that it would have been Stephen Drew to spoil the party.
  • Hero - Nate Schierholtz (.251). First time on the Hero podium since June 18, and only his third and fourth hits since that day.
  • Sidekick - Hector Rondon (.094). Closed the books on the team two-hitter with a hint of excitement in the ninth.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Anthony Rizzo (-.074). It took one-half of a season for it to happen, but Rizzo finally ended up at the top of the Goat podium. Even more unbelievable, the only regular who still has not been at the top of the Goats is... Darwin Barney.
  • Goat - Luis Valbuena (-.068). Two inning-ending outs with runners on first and second.
  • Kid - Junior Lake (-.061). Proud recipient of the Cubs' first Golden Sombrero this season. The last time a Cub achieved the Golden Sombrero was on September 22, 2013, and as it turns out, it was Lake who did it that time as well.

UPDATED RANKINGS THROUGH GAME 81 (Changes in Bold):

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Starlin Castro

11.5

7.5

6.5

56

Anthony Rizzo

10

7

8

52

Luis Valbuena

9

7

2

43

Jason Hammel

5

3

4

25

Jeff Samardzija

6

2

2

24

Nate Schierholtz

3

6

3

24

Welington Castillo

5

3

2

23

Travis Wood

4

4

1

21

Jake Arrieta

4

3

0

18

Mike Olt

3

2

5

18

Emilio Bonifacio

1

7

1

18

Justin Ruggiano

1.5

5.5

2

17.5

Darwin Barney

3.5

2.5

1

16.5

Junior Lake

3

2

3

16

Brian Schlitter

1

4.5

4

16

Edwin Jackson

4

0

0

12

Ryan Kalish

3

0

1

10

John Baker

1

2

2

9

Ryan Sweeney

0

3

3

9

James Russell

0

1

6

8

Hector Rondon

0

0

7.5

7.5

Chris Coghlan

1

2

0

7

Justin Grimm

0

1

4

6

Pedro Strop

0

1

4

6

Carlos Villanueva

0

1

4

6

Wesley Wright

0.5

1.5

0.5

5

Neil Ramirez

0

0.5

3.5

4.5

Zac Rosscup

0

2

0

4

Dallas Beeler

1

0

0

3

Blake Parker

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Nate Schierholtz

5

9

6

39

Starlin Castro

4

5.5

12

35

Luis Valbuena

4

4.5

5.5

26.5

Mike Olt

5

3

5

26

Edwin Jackson

6

3

1

25

Junior Lake

3

5

5

24

Justin Grimm

7

0.5

1.5

23.5

Jason Hammel

7

1

0

23

Emilio Bonifacio

1

8

4

23

Anthony Rizzo

1

7

6

23

Welington Castillo

2

5.5

3.5

20.5

Travis Wood

4

3

2

20

Jeff Samardzija

4

1

1

15

Justin Ruggiano

1

5

2

15

Ryan Sweeney

2

3

1.5

13.5

Carlos Villanueva

4

0

1

13

James Russell

2

2

3

13

Hector Rondon

3

1

1

12

John Baker

2

1

4

12

Chris Coghlan

2

1

3

11

Darwin Barney

0

5

1

11

Brian Schlitter

2

2

0

10

Wesley Wright

2

1

2

10

Jose Veras

2

1

1

9

Ryan Kalish

1

2

2

9

Jake Arrieta

2

0

2

8

Pedro Strop

1

1

1

6

Eli Whiteside

1

0

3

6

Neil Ramirez

1

0

0

3

Blake Parker

0

0

1

1

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

Anthony Rizzo

52

23

29

Starlin Castro

56

35

21

Luis Valbuena

43

26.5

16.5

Jake Arrieta

18

8

10

Jeff Samardzija

24

15

9

Brian Schlitter

16

10

6

Darwin Barney

16.5

11

5.5

Zac Rosscup

4

0

4

Dallas Beeler

3

0

3

Welington Castillo

23

20.5

2.5

Justin Ruggiano

17.5

15

2.5

Jason Hammel

25

23

2

Neil Ramirez

4.5

3

1.5

Travis Wood

21

20

1

Ryan Kalish

10

9

1

Pedro Strop

6

6

0

Blake Parker

1

1

0

John Baker

9

12

-3

Chris Coghlan

7

11

-4

Ryan Sweeney

9

13.5

-4.5

Hector Rondon

7.5

12

-4.5

Emilio Bonifacio

18

23

-5

James Russell

8

13

-5

Wesley Wright

5

10

-5

Eli Whiteside

0

6

-6

Carlos Villanueva

6

13

-7

Mike Olt

18

26

-8

Junior Lake

16

24

-8

Jose Veras

0

9

-9

Edwin Jackson

12

25

-13

Nate Schierholtz

24

39

-15

Justin Grimm

6

23.5

-17.5

Arrieta's gem pushes him to the top of the plus/minus chart among starting pitchers, while Rizzo and Schierholtz find themselves part of a strange reversal of fortune.

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