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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game Tarp -- Er, 125

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In what will go down as one of the most bizarre games in Cub history, Tsuyoshi Wada takes the Superhero award on Tuesday night, primarily because voting for the grounds crew is not allowed.

Little did he know what was to come just a few innings later.
Little did he know what was to come just a few innings later.
Brian Kersey

It's times like this that watching the game on MLB.tv doesn't do justice to the underlying hilarity of the situation. Here's the scenario in my part of the world (also known as West County, St. Louis):

After getting home at about 8:30 Tuesday night and only knowing that the score of the game was at least 2-0 Cubs courtesy of two runs scored in the first inning (thanks, MLB At-Bat Notifications), I went to the computer downstairs and started the video of the game from the beginning, taking the utmost care to not get the updated score of the game or any other details.  I then found out that the 2-0 lead was courtesy of the monster homer onto Sheffield from Anthony Rizzo -- which was quite the sight to behold, I must say -- and proceeded to watch the rest of the game tape-delay style as if it were the '70s and '80s all over again, only catching up two minutes at a time because of the commercial breaks that I was able to skip.

Then the rain came in the fifth inning, along with the famous last words from JD: "This shouldn't take long." I saw the tarp go onto the field cockeyed and thought to myself "Well, that looks interesting," not figuring that it was going to be a huge issue as MLB.tv cut away to their standard message of "This Game is in Rain Delay."  And so I started fast forwarding about five minutes at a time, figuring that I'd catch up with the action pretty quickly.

After closing the gap between taped action and live action by about an hour, I still see the same message on my screen:  "This Game is in Rain Delay."  Maybe the rain was a little more than JD expected, I thought.

I get to live action, having fast forwarded through close to an hour and 45 minutes.  Still, "This Game is in Rain Delay." Maybe the rain was a lot more than JD expected, I thought.

I check the Chicago radar on Weather Underground.  There's a rain blob that's well to the east, but aside from that nothing in the area.  Still, "This Game is in Rain Delay."

Time passes.  I'm doing some other work on the computer, MLB.tv window minimized, waiting for the game to return.  Nothing.

Somewhere around midnight, something kicked into my head and said "Well, maybe I should check the Game Threads and see if they have any updates about what's going on." And only then did I discover the true nature of the beast, the calamity caused by one misplaced tarp, along with the video set to the "Benny Hill music" (actual name: "Yakety Sax") that was spreading across the internet like its own viral comedy skit. And after shaking my head at nobody but myself for not thinking to check things out  about an hour earlier than I did, I proceeded to close the MLB.tv window and go to sleep.

So thank you, BCB Game Threads, for providing the rest of the story when MLB.tv is only allowed to tell the average viewer this lacking piece of information:

Rain_delay_3_medium

Graphs for Game 125 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game-125

Stats for Game 125:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

T Wada

5

6

0

0

0

3

1.02

.441

Total

5

6

0

0

0

3

1.02

.441

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

A Rizzo

2

1

2

1

2

0

0

0.8

.203

A Alcantara

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.44

.018

J Baez

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0.61

.009

R Sweeney

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0.57

.004

T Wada

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.32

-.019

W Castillo

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.6

-.030

L Valbuena

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.56

-.031

S Castro

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.64

-.034

C Coghlan

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

1.12

-.062

Total

14

2

3

1

2

2

4

0.71

.059

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 - Tsuyoshi Wada (.441). Who knew that a simple popup from Buster Posey could be so powerful?
  • Hero - Anthony Rizzo (.203). Barring some other unforeseen event (and the quota of those had already been met), he was going to make the podium anyway.
  • Sidekick - Arismendy Alcantara (.018). The only other hit of the night.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Chris Coghlan (-.062). One of several 0-for-2 performances, compounded by being the leadoff hitter and flying out with runners on second and third.
  • Goat - Starlin Castro (-.034). Takes second place for leaving Rizzo on second in the third inning.
  • Kid - Luis Valbuena (-.031). Same story as Castro, only one place lower in the order.

UPDATED RANKINGS THROUGH GAME 125 (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

15

11

10

77

Starlin Castro

14.5

8.5

8.5

69

Luis Valbuena

12

8

6

58

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

Arismendy Alcantara

3

2

3

16

Pedro Strop

1

3

7

16

Kyle Hendricks

4

1.5

0.5

15.5

Edwin Jackson

4

1

1

15

John Baker

1

4

3

14

Hector Rondon

0

1

10.5

12.5

Tsuyoshi Wada

3

1

0

11

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

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

11.5

14

52

Luis Valbuena

7

7.5

11.5

47.5

Edwin Jackson

11

3

1

40

Travis Wood

10

4

2

40

x-Junior Lake

6

6

8

38

Welington Castillo

3

8.5

7.5

33.5

Anthony Rizzo

2

10

7

33

Chris Coghlan

5

5

5

30

x-Mike Olt

5

3

6

27

Justin Ruggiano

2

7

6

26

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

Matt Szczur

0

1

0

2

x-Chris Rusin

0

1

0

2

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

Anthony Rizzo

77

33

44

Jake Arrieta

30

12

18

Starlin Castro

69

52

17

Justin Ruggiano

38.5

26

12.5

Kyle Hendricks

15.5

4

11.5

Luis Valbuena

58

47.5

10.5

z-Jeff Samardzija

24

15

9

Welington Castillo

41.5

33.5

8

Tsuyoshi Wada

11

3

8

Ryan Sweeney

24.5

17.5

7

x-Brian Schlitter

19

13

6

z-Jason Hammel

28

23

5

x-Zac Rosscup

4

0

4

Jacob Turner

2

0

2

z-Darwin Barney

16.5

15

1.5

Arismendy Alcantara

16

15

1

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

Chris Coghlan

29

30

-1

x-Dallas Beeler

3

4

-1

John Baker

14

16

-2

x-Blake Parker

3

5

-2

Matt Szczur

0

2

-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

Rizzo continues his climb up the charts, while the grounds crew reviews their diagrams to find the proper angle for rolling a tarp cylinder in case of a weather event.