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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 34

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No offense. (No, really. The Cubs had no offense Wednesday.)

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome Thomas Smith, who you surely know from the comment section. He’s offered to take over the Heroes & Goats feature, which I know a lot of you have missed. He’ll explain below how it’ll work this year.


This is a test run at doing Heroes & Goats, originally inspired by Russ La Croix (we miss you Russ!). The torch was admirably carried by Breterbie for the first month and half of this year. I’m going to attempt to pick up where they left off and carry on. The intent is for this column to run Monday through Friday, with Monday being a recap of the Friday through Sunday action and then during the week on mornings following a game the prior day. Please bear with me as I get comfortable doing this and figure out how to include more bells and whistles.

As always, Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added — here’s a good explanation of how WPA works) and are not in any way subjective. Many days WPA will not tell the story of what happened, but often it can give at least a glimpse to who rose to the occasion in a high leverage moment or who didn’t get the job done in that moment. With that, I dive into Wednesday’s game.

Young Rockies hurler German Marquez came into the game with a 7.31 ERA and the Cubs were hoping to continue his early woes and win the series. It was not to be. Ultimately, the Cubs fell 3-0 with no offense to be found and despite a strong effort from Kyle Hendricks, the pitching just couldn’t match the gem of Marquez.

Game chart:


Source: FanGraphs

THE THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero - Kyle Hendricks (.221). For a while, it looked like Kyle would match Marquez pitch for pitch. The Rockies were able to push one across with help from a Baez error that likely extended the inning and then scored two runners that were on when Kyle left the game for Carl Edwards in the seventh.
  • Hero - Ben Zobrist (.048). Ben only had one at bat, but provided one of the only reasons to cheer in this one when he singled following a Tommy La Stella single with one out in the 8th, bringing the tying run to the plate.
  • Sidekick - Kris Bryant (.026). One of the other high points of the game was the Kris Bryant double leading off the seventh inning to break up the potential no-hitter.

THE THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat - Jon Jay (-.125). This was actually a tie between Miguel Montero and Jay, but based upon the 0-4, we’ve gone with Jay in the bottom spot for this one. Jay batted in the 8th inning with two outs (after a Willson Contreras ground out) following the Zobrist single. Jay grounded out as part of an 0-4 day out of the leadoff spot.
  • Goat - Miguel Montero (-.125). Miguel has been off to a hot start at the plate in 2017, but yesterday he was 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. Both strikeouts led off innings and in his third at-bat, he grounded out with Bryant on second in the seventh and the game still 1-0.
  • Kid - Jeimer Candelario (-.113). Jeimer had a nice game in the second game of the double header on Tuesday. Wednesday was not as good. Jeimer registered an 0-4 with two strike outs playing first base and batting fourth while Anthony Rizzo got some much needed rest.

Year to Date Standings (italics means player no longer on team):

  • Anthony Rizzo 15
  • Wade Davis 8
  • Kyle Hendricks 7
  • Tommy La Stella 5
  • Jon Jay 4
  • Miguel Montero 4
  • Kris Bryant 2
  • Kyle Schwarber 2
  • Matt Szczur 2
  • Mike Montgomery 2
  • Albert Almora 2
  • Carl Edwards 1
  • Justin Grimm 1
  • Felix Pena 1
  • Jeimer Candelario 0
  • Jason Heyward 0
  • Brian Duensing 0
  • Hector Rondon 0
  • Jon Lester -3
  • Pedro Strop -3
  • Addison Russell -4
  • Brett Anderson -5
  • Jake Arrieta -5
  • Koji Uehara -5
  • John Lackey -6
  • Ben Zobrist -7
  • Willson Contreras -8
  • Javier Baez -10