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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 123

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Despite the tie-breaking homer in the ninth, Starlin Castro comes up short in the race for the Superhero award thanks to the dazzling performance of Jake Arrieta on the mound.

A heroic performance by Starlin Castro, but not heroic enough for the top spot.
A heroic performance by Starlin Castro, but not heroic enough for the top spot.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

And in the third game of the series, the strikeout total finally nudged back into single digits with only nine whiffs recorded by the Cubs. Who could ask for anything more?

Graphs for Game 123 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game-123

Stats for Game 123:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

J Arrieta

7

2

0

0

2

9

1.41

.449

H Rondon

1

0

0

0

0

1

2.33

.166

P Strop

1

2

0

0

0

1

2.69

-.238

Total

9

4

0

0

2

11

1.71

.378

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

S Castro

4

1

2

1

1

0

1

1.35

.362

R Sweeney

3

0

2

0

0

0

0

0.87

.052

L Valbuena

4

0

1

0

1

0

1

1.08

.034

J Ruggiano

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1.12

.011

J Baez

2

1

0

0

0

2

2

1.24

.008

M Szczur

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.09

-.002

A Alcantara

4

0

1

0

0

0

1

0.5

-.027

J Arrieta

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.88

-.040

C Coghlan

4

0

1

0

0

0

1

1.03

-.066

J Baker

4

0

0

0

0

0

2

1.03

-.074

A Rizzo

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

1.49

-.135

Total

32

2

7

1

2

3

9

1.07

.122

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 (.449). A dominating performance reminiscent of his entire month of June.
  • Hero - Starlin Castro (.362). A lot of the time a WPA above .350 would be a lock for the top spot on the podium. Sunday it was good enough for second place.
  • Sidekick - Hector Rondon (.166). Once again, getting a save with a one-run differential pays dividends.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Pedro Strop (-.238). Victimized by the John Baker passed ball, but when you give up a single to the worst hitter in the National League with runners in scoring position and two outs, a bit of the blame still goes your way.
  • Goat - Anthony Rizzo (-.135). The 0-for-3 before the eighth inning didn't help, and the bases-loaded whiff was the icing on the cake.
  • Kid - John Baker (-.074). Maybe it was karma for the subpar day behind the plate.

UPDATED RANKINGS THROUGH GAME 123 (Changes in Bold, Notations Below):

x - Player not on 25-man roster.
y - Player not on 40-man roster.
z - Player no longer with Cubs.

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Anthony Rizzo

14

10

10

72

Starlin Castro

14.5

8.5

8.5

69

Luis Valbuena

12

8

5

57

Welington Castillo

9

5.5

3.5

41.5

Justin Ruggiano

5.5

9.5

3

38.5

Jake Arrieta

7

4

1

30

Chris Coghlan

6

5

1

29

z-Jason Hammel

5

4

5

28

z-Nate Schierholtz

4

6

3

27

Ryan Sweeney

2

6

6.5

24.5

z-Jeff Samardzija

6

2

2

24

Travis Wood

5

4

1

24

z-Emilio Bonifacio

1

9

1

22

x-Mike Olt

3

3

6

21

x-Junior Lake

3

3

4

19

x-Brian Schlitter

1

4.5

7

19

z-Darwin Barney

3.5

2.5

1

16.5

Pedro Strop

1

3

7

16

Edwin Jackson

4

1

1

15

Arismendy Alcantara

3

2

2

15

John Baker

1

4

3

14

Kyle Hendricks

4

0.5

0.5

13.5

Hector Rondon

0

1

10.5

12.5

Carlos Villanueva

0

3

5

11

Wesley Wright

0.5

3.5

2

10.5

y-Ryan Kalish

3

0

1

10

z-James Russell

0

2

6

10

Justin Grimm

0

2

6

10

Tsuyoshi Wada

2

1

0

8

Neil Ramirez

0

0.5

5.5

6.5

Javier Baez

0

2

1

5

x-Zac Rosscup

0

2

0

4

x-Dallas Beeler

1

0

0

3

x-Chris Rusin

1

0

0

3

Chris Valaika

1

0

0

3

x-Blake Parker

0

0

3

3

Jacob Turner

0

1

0

2

Kyuji Fujikawa

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

z-Nate Schierholtz

8

12

7

55

Starlin Castro

5

10.5

14

50

Luis Valbuena

7

7.5

10.5

46.5

Edwin Jackson

11

3

1

40

Travis Wood

10

4

2

40

x-Junior Lake

6

6

8

38

Anthony Rizzo

2

10

7

33

Welington Castillo

2

8.5

7.5

30.5

x-Mike Olt

5

3

6

27

Chris Coghlan

4

5

5

27

Justin Ruggiano

2

7

5

25

z-Emilio Bonifacio

1

9

4

25

Justin Grimm

7

0.5

2.5

24.5

z-Jason Hammel

7

1

0

23

Hector Rondon

6

2

1

23

Carlos Villanueva

5

1

3

20

z-James Russell

3

3

5

20

Ryan Sweeney

3

3

2.5

17.5

Pedro Strop

3

3

1

16

John Baker

3

1

5

16

z-Jeff Samardzija

4

1

1

15

Arismendy Alcantara

1

5

2

15

z-Darwin Barney

0

6

3

15

Wesley Wright

3

1

3

14

x-Brian Schlitter

2

3

1

13

Jake Arrieta

3

0

3

12

z-Jose Veras

2

1

1

9

y-Ryan Kalish

1

2

2

9

Neil Ramirez

2

0

0

6

y-Eli Whiteside

1

0

3

6

x-Blake Parker

1

0

2

5

x-Dallas Beeler

1

0

1

4

Kyle Hendricks

0

1

2

4

Javier Baez

0

1

2

4

Tsuyoshi Wada

1

0

0

3

x-Dan Straily

1

0

0

3

Chris Valaika

0

1

0

2

x-Chris Rusin

0

1

0

2

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

Anthony Rizzo

72

33

39

Starlin Castro

69

50

19

Jake Arrieta

30

12

18

Justin Ruggiano

38.5

25

13.5

Welington Castillo

41.5

30.5

11

Luis Valbuena

57

46.5

10.5

Kyle Hendricks

13.5

4

9.5

z-Jeff Samardzija

24

15

9

Ryan Sweeney

24.5

17.5

7

x-Brian Schlitter

19

13

6

z-Jason Hammel

28

23

5

Tsuyoshi Wada

8

3

5

x-Zac Rosscup

4

0

4

Chris Coghlan

29

27

2

Jacob Turner

2

0

2

z-Darwin Barney

16.5

15

1.5

y-Ryan Kalish

10

9

1

Javier Baez

5

4

1

x-Chris Rusin

3

2

1

Chris Valaika

3

2

1

Kyuji Fujikawa

1

0

1

Neil Ramirez

6.5

6

0.5

Pedro Strop

16

16

0

Arismendy Alcantara

15

15

0

x-Dallas Beeler

3

4

-1

John Baker

14

16

-2

x-Blake Parker

3

5

-2

z-Emilio Bonifacio

22

25

-3

x-Dan Straily

0

3

-3

Wesley Wright

10.5

14

-3.5

x-Mike Olt

21

27

-6

y-Eli Whiteside

0

6

-6

Carlos Villanueva

11

20

-9

z-Jose Veras

0

9

-9

z-James Russell

10

20

-10

Hector Rondon

12.5

23

-10.5

Justin Grimm

10

24.5

-14.5

Travis Wood

24

40

-16

x-Junior Lake

19

38

-19

Edwin Jackson

15

40

-25

z-Nate Schierholtz

27

55

-28

The top three players on the plus/minus chart all see action on Sunday, with Arrieta and Castro's differentials moving up while Rizzo's differential moves down.