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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 52

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Cubs lose 2-1 and fall two games under .500.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Well, hopefully the Cubs weren’t staying at the Hotel California. After a road trip that was like something out of American Horror Story for Cubs fans, they certainly need to leave and to get as far away as possible. The Cubs get a day off today after 11 consecutive games since they last had a day off. Over those 11 games, the Cubs won just four. It was definitely a stretch where you thought they might win at least six or seven.

The vultures have been swirling around the Cubs for days now. A few have been circling there for weeks. It’s definitely not early any more. Some of the sample sizes are no longer small. A few games short of a third of the season are gone and the results have been without question massively disappointing. Those vultures have found plenty of meat to pick off of the corpse of what used to be the defending champion Chicago Cubs. Not me though. I may end up being the fool I guess, but I’m going towards the deck. I’m going to stand next to the captain of the ship and I’m planting my feet firmly on board. I believe that this too shall pass.

Following another disappointing game, let’s take a look at what WPA had to say in regards to Heroes and Goats. As always, the Heroes and Goats themselves 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. Also note, for the purposes of Heroes and Goats, we ignore the results of pitchers while they are batting and hitters while they are pitching. With that, we get to the results.

Game Chart Wednesday, May 31:


Source: FanGraphs

THE THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero - Jake Arrieta (.226). The run of putrid starts ends at five. In fairness, Jake had the best of those five starts to start the trip in L.A. But yesterday he was very good. So good that I was disappointed when the Cubs pinch hit for him in the top of the seventh.
  • Hero - Willson Contreras (.173). Walked in the second (and committed one of the cardinal errors in making the last out at third base after the Cubs scored their only run). Doubled in the fifth, before being stranded. Hit by a pitch. On a day the Cubs had few base runners, Willson was on base all day long.
  • Sidekick - Carl Edwards Jr. (.084). Worked a very efficient scoreless seventh inning.

THE THREE GOATS

  • Billy Goat - Koji Uehara (-.245). Wasn’t sharp after not being used in a while. Allowed one hit, but that hit was devastating.
  • Goat - Jason Heyward (-.162). I’ve written this too many times this week for too many guys. Hitless in four at bats.
  • Kid - Ian Happ (-.149). But let’s do it again. Hitless in four at bats. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the glove. I suspect he might be served best by returning to Triple-A where he only played 26 games.

Before we go, we’ll look at our year to date standings for Heroes and Goats. As a reminder, we award three points for Superhero, two for Hero, and one for Sidekick. And we deduct -3 points for Billy Goat, -2 for Goat and -1 for Kid. Here then are the standings.

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

  • Anthony Rizzo 20
  • Wade Davis 9
  • Tommy La Stella 8
  • Kyle Hendricks 6
  • Jon Jay 6
  • Kyle Schwarber 5
  • Mike Montgomery 4
  • Ben Zobrist 4
  • Willson Contreras 4
  • Miguel Montero 3
  • Felix Pena 3
  • Eddie Butler 2
  • Kris Bryant 2
  • Matt Szczur 2
  • Justin Grimm 1
  • Hector Rondon 0
  • Albert Almora 0
  • Brian Duensing -1
  • Carl Edwards -1
  • Jon Lester -3
  • Pierce Johnson -3
  • Jason Heyward -4
  • Brett Anderson -5
  • Jeimer Candelario -5
  • Pedro Strop -5
  • Addison Russell -5
  • Jake Arrieta -5
  • Ian Happ -6
  • Koji Uehara -10
  • John Lackey -12
  • Javier Baez -15

The Cubs have an off day Thursday. Friday they’ll open a three game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. I’ll be back on Monday with a weekend wrap for that series. I’ll also have a column Tuesday morning following the first game of the following series against the Marlins. Then I’ll be gone until I return with a new column on Monday, June 19th with a weekend wrap from the weekend series against the Pirates.

Finally, as always we’ll end with a poll. Yesterday you selected Eddie Butler as the goat of the game for game 51. Today we’ll be selecting the goat of the game again. And for the first time, I’m going to have a bulk choice to sum up my frustration with this road trip.

Poll

Who was/were the goat(s) of the game for game 52?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Koji Uehara
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Jason Heyward
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Ian Happ
    (1 vote)
  • 49%
    The whole offense for this awful road trip
    (32 votes)
  • 30%
    The whole team for collective failure on the trip
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (please leave a comment below)
    (0 votes)
65 votes total Vote Now