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Cubs Heroes & Goats: Weekend Wrap

Games 35 - 37: The Walking Wounded

Ian Happ was the one bright spot this weekend
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

This was one of those weekends where being busy with the family doesn’t look like it was the worst thing. Another tough weekend for the team, losing two out of three to the Cardinals. It is still a bit early to be heavily focused on the standings, but obviously the Cardinals gain another game on the Cubs while removing three days from the season.

As has been the case for a little while now, one of the subplots of the weekend was the number of healthy bats. With Kris Bryant falling ill, Addison Russell’s shoulder problems, and back problems for Ben Zobrist and Jon Jay, the Cubs spent most of Friday’s game and a lot of Saturday’s game with Miguel Montero seemingly the only healthy choice on the bench. These problems necessitated the call up of Ian Happ who ended up being one of lone bright spots from the weekend along with Friday night’s bright spot. And we’ll get to that game right away as we look back at who the Heroes and Goats were as determined by WPA.

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 the weekend contests.

Friday, May 12th, 2017 - Game Chart:

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero - Eddie Butler (.358) - An excellent Cubs debut.
  • Hero - Willson Contreras (.189) - A two-homer game, the first of his career.
  • Sidekick - Wade Davis (.088) - Scary for a moment, but once again very effective.


  • Billy Goat - Carl Edwards, Jr. (-.084) - Less sharp than usual and victimized by the long ball.
  • Goat - Jeimer Candelario (-.071) - Still looking to break out at the MLB level.
  • Kid - Albert Almora (-.069) - 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - Game Chart:

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero - Ian Happ (.167) - The second straight day someone making their Cubs debut takes the top spot. Welcome to the show, kid.
  • Hero - Mike Montgomery (.036) - Finished the game with two scoreless, hitless innings.
  • Sidekick - Ben Zobrist (.023) - Ben was able to come off of the bench and get a hit late in this one.

* we will continue to ignore pitcher’s hitting. Jon Lester would have otherwise taken the Hero stand for his RBI double with a .107.


  • Billy Goat - Jeimer Candelario (-.131) - 0 for 4 with two strikeouts as his struggles continue.
  • Goat - Jon Lester (-.123) - The Cardinals came in with a plan against him and executed it.
  • Kid - Javier Baez (-.115) - 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

Sunday, May 14, 2017 - Game Chart:

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero - Tommy La Stella (.058) - 1 for 3 with a walk on a day when the Cubs only managed four hits and four walks.
  • Hero - Anthony Rizzo (.036) - 0 for 2 but he had two walks.
  • Sidekick - Brian Duensing (.001) - Never a good sign when .001 makes the podium. Duensing wasn’t even effective beyond making sure no other relievers were needed.


  • Billy Goat - Jake Arrieta (-.199) - two home runs and four runs total allowed, but at least Joe Maddon said he had great stuff.
  • Goat - Miguel Montero (-.145) - Struck out in the first with two runners in scoring position. Grounded into a double play in the fourth. Grounded out with runners on first and third and two outs in the sixth. When the team only has eight baserunners, stranding four of them and doubling up another will get you here.
  • Kid - Javier Baez (-.076) - Grounded into a fielder’s choice in the second. Fouled out with a man on first in the seventh in an 0 for 3 day.

Year to Date Standings (italics means player no longer part of the organization):

  • Anthony Rizzo 17
  • Wade Davis 9
  • Tommy La Stella 8
  • Kyle Hendricks 7
  • Jon Jay 4
  • Mike Montgomery 4
  • Eddie Butler 3
  • Ian Happ 3
  • Miguel Montero 2
  • Kris Bryant 2
  • Kyle Schwarber 2
  • Matt Szczur 2
  • Albert Almora 1
  • Justin Grimm 1
  • Felix Pena 1
  • Brian Duensing 1
  • Jason Heyward 0
  • Hector Rondon 0
  • Carl Edwards -2
  • Pedro Strop -3
  • Addison Russell -4
  • Jeimer Candelario -5
  • Jon Lester -5
  • Brett Anderson -5
  • Koji Uehara -5
  • John Lackey -6
  • Ben Zobrist -6
  • Willson Contreras -6
  • Jake Arrieta -8
  • Javier Baez -12

A day off today before the homestand starts Tuesday. The next Heroes and Goats will be posted Wednesday morning.