The good news is that I spent the weekend with family and really only peeked at a little bit of Saturday night’s game and otherwise have been checked out of baseball since going to last Thursday’s win over the Giants. Following that game, the Cubs were 25-21, having won seven of nine and otherwise looking pretty good.
The bad news is that I’m now looking at the grim results from the weekend. I knew heading into the weekend that while writing this column that the Cubs would have already started another series and that this column would more or less be old news. And given the results of the weekend, I’m going to try to push through this, sharing the Heroes and the Goats with you and without a lot of commentary. Clearly there isn’t a lot any of us want to remember from the baseball part of our holiday weekend.
Game Chart, Friday, May 26:
THE THREE HEROES FOR GAME 47:
- Superhero - Ben Zobrist (.013). Hitless in three at bats, but drew a walk. Yeah, it was that bad.
- Hero - Felix Pena (.007). Two scoreless, hitless innings. But he did walk two.
- Sidekick - Javier Baez (-.001). Really, really bad. Negative WPA on the podium. But he did have one of the two hits.
THE THREE GOATS FOR GAME 47:
- Billy Goat - Jake Arrieta (-.127). Is there any chance he is tipping one of his pitches? Nine strike outs and one walk. Five hits in six innings. But yeah, two home runs. He pitches really well most of the time but every mistake is getting crushed.
- Goat - Ian Happ (-.111). Pitchers adjust. Everyone goes through struggles. Let’s see how he responds.
- Kid - Willson Contreras (-.093). The same 0 for 3 that just about everyone else posted, but grounded into a double play.
Game Chart Saturday, May 27:
THE THREE HEROES FOR GAME 48:
- Superhero - Ian Happ (.022). One of the three hits.
- Hero - Albert Almora (.012). Ok, this one sent me looking for an explanation. Yep, one plate appearance and no hits. But he reached on a throwing error. And that was literally the high point for the offense of the first two games of this series.
- Sidekick - Brian Duensing (.004). This is starting to feel like participation awards. One scoreless inning. But in fairness, the Cubs low leverage reliever is one of the few guys on the team performing up to expectations to this point in the season.
THE THREE GOATS FOR GAME 48:
- Billy Goat - John Lackey (-.191). Matched zeroes with Brandon McCarthy for three innings, but the wheels fell off in the fifth.
- Goat - Jason Heyward (-.069). Struck out after Ian Happ had been hit with a pitch to start the second inning and two more hitless at bats after that sealed his fate.
- Kid - Jon Jay (-.061). His ground out into a fielders choice with two on and one out in the eighth put him here.
Game Chart Sunday, May 28:
THE THREE HEROES FOR GAME 49:
- Superhero - Anthony Rizzo (.111). Two hits including a two-run home run off of Clayton Kershaw to cut the deficit to 6-4 and give one of the few glimmers of hope for the weekend.
- Hero - Willson Contreras (.090). Two hits including a solo home run off of Clayton Kershaw. That actually gave the Cubs their only lead of the weekend.
- Sidekick - Addison Russell (.066). A hit and a walk for Addison and wasn’t one of the guys who failed to come through with runners on base.
THE THREE GOATS FOR GAME 49:
- Billy Goat - Jon Lester (-.434). Yeah, that’s a really ugly WPA score. Totally ineffective start from one of the few guys who has been dependable. Ouch.
- Goat - Ian Happ (-.139). Hitless in five at bats. Four strike outs. Three men left on base.
- Kid - Jason Heyward (-.073). One hit in five tries. Leaving the same three men on that Ian did as they were batting fourth and fifth in the order.
Year to Date Standings (italics means player no longer in the organization):
- Anthony Rizzo 22
- Wade Davis 9
- Kyle Hendricks 9
- Tommy La Stella 8
- Jon Jay 6
- Eddie Butler 5
- Mike Montgomery 4
- Kyle Schwarber 3
- Miguel Montero 3
- Felix Pena 3
- Ben Zobrist 3
- Kris Bryant 2
- Matt Szczur 2
- Justin Grimm 1
- Hector Rondon 0
- Brian Duensing 0
- Albert Almora 0
- Carl Edwards -2
- Willson Contreras -2
- Jon Lester -3
- Jason Heyward -3
- Ian Happ -3
- Pierce Johnson -3
- Brett Anderson -5
- Jeimer Candelario -5
- Pedro Strop -5
- Koji Uehara -7
- Jake Arrieta -8
- Addison Russell -8
- John Lackey -12
- Javier Baez -13
Anthony Rizzo extends his lead at the top. Javier Baez has company down near the cellar as John Lackey becomes the second Cub to cross the -10 plateau.
And with that, we’ll move along. I’ll be back this afternoon with a column covering the first game of the Padres series. I hope you all had a happy, safe holiday weekend.