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Cubs Heroes and Goats: NLDS Game 2

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Travis Wood's emergency relief in the middle innings of Game 2 earned him the Superhero in the Cubs' 5-2 win on Saturday night, but there was something else about the game that was a historic moment for the Cubs.

"Congrats, Travis!  You just made Cubs history!"
"Congrats, Travis! You just made Cubs history!"
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

What exactly is that historic moment, you ask?  If you look at the Cubs' top WPA for hitters on Saturday night, you'll notice this:

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

T Wood

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0.42

.079

K Hendricks

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

1.72

.075

There are a few things that make these numbers historic for the Cubs:

  • It's only the fifth time in Cubs' history -- and the first time in 20 years -- that they have had two pitchers notch a hitting WPA of .075 or better in the same game. The last tandem to do it was Jim Bullinger and Turk Wendell on April 10, 1996.
  • It's the first time in Cubs' postseason history (dating back to 1903) that they had two pitchers break the .075 hitting WPA mark in the same game.
  • And finally, it's the first time ever in Cubs' history (dating back to 1913) that the top two spots on the WPA hitting chart in the game were held by pitchers with a WPA of .075 or better for each of them.

Graphs for NLDS Game 2 (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Game 164 Chart 2016

Stats for NLDS Game 2:

Pitcher

IP

H

HR

ER

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

T Wood

1.1

0

0

0

0

2

0.94

.070

C Edwards Jr.

1

1

0

0

0

0

0.63

.045

H Rondon

0.2

0

0

0

0

1

0.83

.043

M Montgomery

1.1

1

0

0

0

1

0.62

.040

A Chapman

1

0

0

0

0

2

0.4

.030

K Hendricks

3.2

4

0

2

0

0

0.98

.030

Total

9

6

0

2

0

6

0.82

.258

Batter

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BB

SO

pLI

WPA

T Wood

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0.42

.079

K Hendricks

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

1.72

.075

B Zobrist

4

0

1

0

1

0

1

0.57

.068

W Contreras

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

0.77

.051

D Fowler

4

1

1

0

0

0

1

0.56

.040

J Heyward

4

1

1

0

0

0

1

0.39

.035

J Baez

3

1

1

0

0

1

2

0.41

.010

K Bryant

4

0

1

0

1

0

0

0.63

-.007

M Montero

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.27

-.007

A Russell

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.39

-.041

A Rizzo

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.62

-.060

Total

33

5

9

1

5

1

6

0.56

.242

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 Ramirez Catalyst of NLDS Game 2: With two out and Dexter Fowler on second in the bottom of the first, Ben Zobrist delivers with a clutch bloop single to right to score Fowler and give the Cubs the early 1-0 lead. WPA impact: +.097.

THE THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero - Travis Wood (.070 / .149). Obviously his homer to left was huge -- even though it didn't get a call from Bob Costas on MLB Network when he hit it because they were busy running a taped interview with Bruce Bochy from the previous half-inning -- but there was also the one-out jam that he dodged with a runner on second after the dreaded double-error by Kris Bryant on a hard grounder from Madison Bumgarner.
  • Hero - Ben Zobrist (.068). The early RBI single ended up holding up for second place on the podium, due in large part to the pitchers scoring three of the Cubs' five runs in the game.
  • Sidekick - Willson Contreras (.051). Helped set up some unexpected heroics in the second by loading the bases with a single to right.
  • Honorable Mention - Kyle Hendricks (.030 / .105). Fear not; he'll be in the Cuyler poll, so you'll have your chance to vote for him. I thought about adding an option for his broken bat but decided against it (sarcasm alert detected). And had he not gotten knocked out of the game on a comebacker in the fourth that hit him in the forearm, he would have had a pretty good chance to make it into the top three for his pitching.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Anthony Rizzo (-.060). Still searching for that first hit in the playoffs this season. It's just his way of sharing the spotlight.
  • Goat - Addison Russell (-.041). Had a pretty good chance at a hit in the fifth on a hard shot to third but was denied on a nice play by Conor Gillaspie.
  • Kid #1 (tie) - Kris Bryant (-.007). There's definitely a fruit basket headed to Joe Panik for his error in the seventh; without it, Bryant would be on the final step by himself despite his single in the second to extend the lead to 4-0.
  • Kid #2 (tie) - Miguel Montero (-.007). And thanks to Panik's error, Montero ends up sharing the final step courtesy of a pinch-hit foulout.

RANKINGS THROUGH NLDS GAME 2:

Heroes

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Jon Lester

1

0

0

3

Travis Wood

1

0

0

3

Javier Baez

0

1

0

2

Ben Zobrist

0

1

0

2

Aroldis Chapman

0

0

1

1

Willson Contreras

0

0

1

1

Goats

1st

2nd

3rd

Total

Anthony Rizzo

1

1

0

5

Ben Zobrist

1

0

0

3

Addison Russell

0

1

0

2

Jason Heyward

0

0

1

1

Kris Bryant

0

0

0.5

0.5

Miguel Montero

0

0

0.5

0.5

Overall

Hero

Goat

+/-

pWPA

Jon Lester

3

0

3

0.535

Travis Wood

3

0

3

0.070

Javier Baez

2

0

2

0.294

Aroldis Chapman

1

0

1

0.155

Willson Contreras

1

0

1

0.051

Kris Bryant

0

0.5

-0.5

-0.007

Miguel Montero

0

0.5

-0.5

-0.007

Ben Zobrist

2

3

-1

-0.029

Jason Heyward

0

1

-1

-0.076

Addison Russell

0

2

-2

-0.041

Anthony Rizzo

0

5

-5

-0.144