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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 126

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Hey, you'll never guess what happened in a game that Dan Haren started! Oh, wait... yes you will.

Another start, another longball.
Another start, another longball.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Every once in a while there's a performance in a game that needs to be called out because it gets lost in the WPA shuffle. In this game that dubious performance belongs to James Russell for his eighth-inning -- I'm going to call it a dumpster fire; you can call it what you will -- in which he gave up one intentional walk, one unintentional walk, two hits that weren't homers, and one ugly grand slam.  And because it was a 5-1 game at the time, it ended up having a -.009 WPA effect. But when you have a performance that's that bad, it has to get its proper due. So congratulations James, for taking a game that was already pretty blah and putting a giant cherry on top of it.

Graphs for Game 126 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game 126 Chart 2015

Stats for Game 126:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

Z Rosscup

0.2

1

0

0

0

0

0.05

.002

J Russell

1

3

1

4

2

0

0.03

-.009

D Haren

6.1

6

1

5

3

4

0.62

-.348

Total

8

10

2

9

5

4

0.48

-.355

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

S Castro

4

0

1

0

1

0

0

0.57

.086

A Rizzo

4

1

1

0

0

0

3

0.67

.048

M Szczur

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.88

.002

C Coghlan

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.13

-.003

M Montero

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.22

-.005

T La Stella

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.41

-.010

D Haren

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

1.1

-.023

K Bryant

4

0

1

0

0

0

2

0.29

-.029

K Schwarber

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.47

-.044

A Russell

3

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.56

-.051

J Herrera

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

1.17

-.056

C Denorfia

4

0

0

0

0

0

2

0.6

-.060

Total

30

1

3

0

1

2

16

0.6

-.145

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 - Starlin Castro (.086). Driving in the game's only run is what got him here, but special mention should also be made of the fact that he didn't strike out in four times to the plate.
  • Hero - Anthony Rizzo (.048). Gained part of his points because of the wild pitch by Madison Bumgarner, but it didn't really matter because...
  • Sidekick (tie) - Zac Rosscup and Matt Szczur (.002). ...this was the bottom of the podium on Thursday. Two-thirds of a scoreless inning -- albeit a very interesting two-thirds of a scoreless inning -- and a walk. The bottom of the podium sometimes isn't very pretty.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Dan Haren (-.348). Amazingly enough, his ERA and his FIP are exactly the same, and they're both really bad: 6.31.
  • Goat - Chris Denorfia (-.060). The main thing that put him on the podium was having two hitless plate appearances while the game was still close. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be the leadoff hitter, especially if you don't get on base.
  • Kid - Jonathan Herrera (-.056). He only had one plate appearance before the score broke open, and it was an inning-ending whiff with two on.
RANKINGS THROUGH GAME 126 ("x" indicates player not on active roster):
Rizzo once again bumps back up to the plus-50 barrier, and Castro takes another step out of the depths of the cellar.

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Anthony Rizzo

14

22.5

7.5

94.5

Kris Bryant

14

11

7

71

Dexter Fowler

10

5

13

53

Jake Arrieta

13.5

4

0.5

49

x-Jorge Soler

6

11

3

43

Miguel Montero

9.5

5.5

2

41.5

Chris Coghlan

8

3

8

38

Starlin Castro

4

7

11

37

Addison Russell

6

5.5

7.5

36.5

Jon Lester

7

4

2

31

Jason Hammel

7

4

0

29

Kyle Schwarber

7

2

4

29

Hector Rondon

0

9

8.5

26.5

Travis Wood

2

6

3.5

21.5

Kyle Hendricks

5

1

2

19

Jonathan Herrera

1

5

2

15

Pedro Strop

1

1

8.5

13.5

Chris Denorfia

1

2

4.5

11.5

Matt Szczur

2

1

2.5

10.5

x-Jason Motte

0

2.5

5.5

10.5

Justin Grimm

0

2

6.5

10.5

Zac Rosscup

2

0

3.5

9.5

James Russell

0

3

1.5

7.5

x-Junior Lake

1

1

1

6

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

1

1

0

5

x-Taylor Teagarden

1

1

0

5

Clayton Richard

1

0

2

5

x-Brian Schlitter

0

2

1

5

x-Phil Coke

1

0

0.5

3.5

Tommy La Stella

1

0

0

3

x-Edwin Jackson

0

1

1

3

Dan Haren

0

1

0

2

x-Welington Castillo

0

1

0

2

x-Arismendy Alcantara

0

1

0

2

x-David Ross

0

0

2

2

x-Mike Baxter

0

0

1.5

1.5

Tommy Hunter

0

0

1

1

x-Neil Ramirez

0

0

1

1

x-Yoervis Medina

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Starlin Castro

10

9

14

62

Dexter Fowler

9

8.5

8.5

52.5

x-Jorge Soler

6

12

10

52

Addison Russell

2

17

9

49

Kris Bryant

7

9

8

47

Anthony Rizzo

7

9

6

45

Chris Coghlan

3

9

15

42

Kyle Hendricks

9

2

1

32

Miguel Montero

3

7

8

31

Pedro Strop

8

2

0

28

Kyle Schwarber

3

5

4

23

Jon Lester

6

1

1

21

Chris Denorfia

3

3

6

21

x-David Ross

2

4.5

5.5

20.5

Jason Hammel

4

4

0

20

Hector Rondon

5

2

0

19

Justin Grimm

2

4

3

17

Jake Arrieta

5

0

1

16

Travis Wood

3

2

3

16

Jonathan Herrera

1

2

6

13

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

4

0

0

12

Zac Rosscup

3

1

1

12

x-Jason Motte

1

4

0

11

x-Brian Schlitter

3

0

1

10

Dan Haren

2

1

1

9

x-Edwin Jackson

2

1

0

8

x-Mike Baxter

2

1

0

8

x-Welington Castillo

1

1

2

7

x-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

Clayton Richard

0

2

1

5

Matt Szczur

0

1

3

5

x-Mike Olt

1

0

1

4

Tommy Hunter

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

Tommy La Stella

0

0

1

1

x-Arismendy Alcantara

0

0

1

1

x-Neil Ramirez

0

0

1

1

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

Anthony Rizzo

94.5

45

49.5

Jake Arrieta

49

16

33

Kris Bryant

71

47

24

Miguel Montero

41.5

31

10.5

Jon Lester

31

21

10

Jason Hammel

29

20

9

Hector Rondon

26.5

19

7.5

Kyle Schwarber

29

23

6

Travis Wood

21.5

16

5.5

Matt Szczur

10.5

5

5.5

x-Taylor Teagarden

5

0

5

James Russell

7.5

5

2.5

Jonathan Herrera

15

13

2

Tommy La Stella

3

1

2

x-Junior Lake

6

5

1

x-Arismendy Alcantara

2

1

1

x-Yoervis Medina

1

0

1

Dexter Fowler

53

52.5

0.5

x-Phil Coke

3.5

3

0.5

Clayton Richard

5

5

0

x-Neil Ramirez

1

1

0

x-Jason Motte

10.5

11

-0.5

Zac Rosscup

9.5

12

-2.5

Tommy Hunter

1

4

-3

x-Donn Roach

0

3

-3

x-Gonzalez Germen

0

3

-3

Chris Coghlan

38

42

-4

x-Mike Olt

0

4

-4

x-Brian Schlitter

5

10

-5

x-Edwin Jackson

3

8

-5

x-Welington Castillo

2

7

-5

x-Dallas Beeler

0

6

-6

x-Rafael Soriano

0

6

-6

Justin Grimm

10.5

17

-6.5

x-Mike Baxter

1.5

8

-6.5

x-Tsuyoshi Wada

5

12

-7

Dan Haren

2

9

-7

x-Jorge Soler

43

52

-9

Chris Denorfia

11.5

21

-9.5

Addison Russell

36.5

49

-12.5

Kyle Hendricks

19

32

-13

Pedro Strop

13.5

28

-14.5

x-David Ross

2

20.5

-18.5

Starlin Castro

37

62

-25