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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 101

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Just another night of late-inning heroics for Anthony Rizzo.

Just one swing of the bat to completely change fortunes.
Just one swing of the bat to completely change fortunes.
Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

Talk about a crazy year: With Anthony Rizzo's heroic eighth-inning homer on Thursday night, it marked the fifth time this season that a Cub position player posted a WPA above .700. By comparison, it had only happened six times for the Cubs in the past 11 years. Not only that, but there have only been eight times since WPA has been tracked in which a team had five above-.700 WPA games in a single season, and there have been only two teams to pull off the feat twice: the Rockies in 2000 and 2014; and the Cubs, who also had five above-.700 games in 1973.

And the single-season record for above-.700 WPA games? That would be six, held by the White Sox in 2014.

Graphs for Game 101 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game 101 Chart 2015

Stats for Game 101:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

P Strop

1

0

0

0

0

1

1.81

.133

H Rondon

1

0

0

0

0

0

0.47

.035

R Soriano

1

1

0

0

0

1

0.36

.020

J Arrieta

6

5

0

2

3

6

0.91

-.013

Total

9

6

0

2

3

8

0.88

.175

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

A Rizzo

4

1

3

1

3

0

0

1.39

.748

D Fowler

4

1

2

0

0

1

2

1.07

.078

J Herrera

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0.75

.039

D Ross

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

1.22

.015

A Russell

4

2

1

0

0

0

0

0.94

.004

C Coghlan

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.63

-.047

J Arrieta

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1.25

-.049

K Bryant

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

1.6

-.060

S Castro

4

1

1

0

0

0

1

1.19

-.078

C Denorfia

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.86

-.083

K Schwarber

5

0

1

0

1

0

2

1.36

-.120

J Soler

4

0

0

0

0

0

2

1.1

-.122

Total

34

5

9

1

5

3

10

1.19

.325

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 - Anthony Rizzo (.748). Hard to believe that he had the team's only two hits before the floodgates opened up in the eighth.
  • Hero - Pedro Strop (.133). Returning to form nicely after the two roadbump games before and after the All-Star break.
  • Sidekick - Dexter Fowler (.078). The strong second half continues: .356 average, 1.058 OPS.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Jorge Soler (-.122). A close race for the top and second spots, ultimately decided on a tough strike three call in the eighth...
  • Goat - Kyle Schwarber (-.120). ...and a run-scoring single in the ninth.
  • Kid - Chris Denorfia (-.083). Was steering pretty clear of the podium Thursday night until his flyout in the eighth with runners on first and second.
RANKINGS THROUGH GAME 101 ("x" indicates player not on active roster):
Rizzo begins to pad the lead once again, while Soler sinks a little closer to familiar territory at the cellar door.

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Anthony Rizzo

12

18.5

4.5

77.5

Kris Bryant

10

8

6

52

Dexter Fowler

9

4

10

45

Jake Arrieta

9.5

3

0.5

35

Addison Russell

6

4.5

6.5

33.5

Chris Coghlan

7

2

7

32

Starlin Castro

3

7

9

32

x-Miguel Montero

6.5

5.5

0

30.5

Jorge Soler

3

9

3

30

Jon Lester

7

1

2

25

Hector Rondon

0

8

6.5

22.5

Jason Hammel

6

2

0

22

Kyle Schwarber

5

1

0

17

Kyle Hendricks

5

0

2

17

Travis Wood

1

5

3.5

16.5

Jonathan Herrera

1

5

2

15

Pedro Strop

1

1

8.5

13.5

Jason Motte

0

2.5

5.5

10.5

x-Matt Szczur

2

1

1

9

x-Zac Rosscup

2

0

3

9

Chris Denorfia

1

1

3.5

8.5

James Russell

0

3

1.5

7.5

Justin Grimm

0

1

5.5

7.5

x-Junior Lake

1

1

1

6

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

1

1

0

5

Taylor Teagarden

1

1

0

5

x-Brian Schlitter

0

2

1

5

x-Phil Coke

1

0

0.5

3.5

x-Edwin Jackson

0

1

1

3

x-Welington Castillo

0

1

0

2

x-Arismendy Alcantara

0

1

0

2

David Ross

0

0

2

2

x-Mike Baxter

0

0

1.5

1.5

x-Clayton Richard

0

0

1

1

x-Neil Ramirez

0

0

1

1

Yoervis Medina

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Starlin Castro

8

7

13

51

Jorge Soler

6

9

9

45

Kris Bryant

6

7

8

40

Addison Russell

2

13

6

38

Anthony Rizzo

5

9

4

37

Dexter Fowler

5

7.5

6.5

36.5

Chris Coghlan

2

7

13

33

x-Miguel Montero

3

6

6

27

Pedro Strop

7

2

0

25

Kyle Hendricks

6

1

1

21

Jon Lester

5

1

1

18

Jason Hammel

4

3

0

18

Justin Grimm

2

4

3

17

Jake Arrieta

5

0

1

16

Hector Rondon

4

2

0

16

David Ross

1

3.5

4.5

14.5

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

4

0

0

12

x-Zac Rosscup

3

1

1

12

Chris Denorfia

2

1

4

12

Travis Wood

2

1

3

11

Jason Motte

1

4

0

11

Jonathan Herrera

1

2

4

11

x-Brian Schlitter

3

0

1

10

x-Edwin Jackson

2

1

0

8

x-Mike Baxter

2

1

0

8

x-Welington Castillo

1

1

2

7

Kyle Schwarber

0

3

1

7

Rafael Soriano

2

0

0

6

x-Dallas Beeler

2

0

0

6

James Russell

1

1

0

5

x-Junior Lake

1

0

2

5

x-Matt Szczur

0

1

3

5

x-Mike Olt

1

0

1

4

x-Donn Roach

1

0

0

3

x-Gonzalez Germen

1

0

0

3

x-Phil Coke

0

1

1

3

x-Clayton Richard

0

1

0

2

x-Arismendy Alcantara

0

0

1

1

x-Neil Ramirez

0

0

1

1

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

Anthony Rizzo

77.5

37

40.5

Jake Arrieta

35

16

19

Kris Bryant

52

40

12

Kyle Schwarber

17

7

10

Dexter Fowler

45

36.5

8.5

Jon Lester

25

18

7

Hector Rondon

22.5

16

6.5

Travis Wood

16.5

11

5.5

Taylor Teagarden

5

0

5

Jason Hammel

22

18

4

Jonathan Herrera

15

11

4

x-Matt Szczur

9

5

4

x-Miguel Montero

30.5

27

3.5

James Russell

7.5

5

2.5

x-Junior Lake

6

5

1

x-Arismendy Alcantara

2

1

1

Yoervis Medina

1

0

1

x-Phil Coke

3.5

3

0.5

x-Neil Ramirez

1

1

0

Jason Motte

10.5

11

-0.5

Chris Coghlan

32

33

-1

x-Clayton Richard

1

2

-1

x-Zac Rosscup

9

12

-3

x-Donn Roach

0

3

-3

x-Gonzalez Germen

0

3

-3

Chris Denorfia

8.5

12

-3.5

Kyle Hendricks

17

21

-4

x-Mike Olt

0

4

-4

Addison Russell

33.5

38

-4.5

x-Brian Schlitter

5

10

-5

x-Edwin Jackson

3

8

-5

x-Welington Castillo

2

7

-5

x-Dallas Beeler

0

6

-6

Rafael Soriano

0

6

-6

x-Mike Baxter

1.5

8

-6.5

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

5

12

-7

Justin Grimm

7.5

17

-9.5

Pedro Strop

13.5

25

-11.5

David Ross

2

14.5

-12.5

Jorge Soler

30

45

-15

Starlin Castro

32

51

-19