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Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 56

Cubs win their fourth straight with excellent pitching and home runs.

Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

It is always amazing how quickly things can change in baseball. Four short days ago, some panic was setting in among Cubs fans after a winless road trip to California. Now back at home, the Cubs have reeled off four straight wins, running their home winning streak to seven. Overall, the Cubs have now won 11 of 13 at home and now own an 18-11 home record after a slow start at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs faced former Cub Dan Straily who isn’t having too bad a season for the Marlins. The Cubs made a lot of solid contact against him, but often that resulted in long fly outs. But two balls, one by Kris Bryant with a man on and another by Albert Almora Jr., reached the seats. Eddie Butler and Mike Montgomery combined to throw nine innings for the second time in the last three appearances for Eddie Butler who with the win last night is now 3-1 for all that pitcher’s record matters.

With those happy results, we’ll move on to looking at Heroes and Goats as determined by WPA. 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 Monday, June 5:

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero - Mike Montgomery (.257). A three-plus inning save in a close game is one way to reach the podium. It’s the fourth time this year he has pitched three or more innings and the second of those that resulted in a save.
  • Hero - Eddie Butler (.192). Three times in five starts he has pitched at least five innings while allowing one or no runs. He allows too many baserunners, but he has kept the ball in the park. You’d obviously like to improve, but he’s been a capable fifth starter so far.
  • Sidekick - Kris Bryant (.100). Hit his third home run in his last five games at Wrigley and tenth Wrigley home run of the season. He has strangely been mostly a homers only guy at Wrigley with a .245 home batting average (due at least in part to a .230 BABIP at home).


  • Billy Goat - Jason Heyward (-.037). Hitless in three at bats. Twice he made outs following Willson Contreras singles and that put him on top here.
  • Goat - Anthony Rizzo (-.036). Hitless in four at bats, all with the bases empty.
  • Kid - Javier Baez (-.035). Hitless in three at bats.

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 18
  • Wade Davis 9
  • Tommy La Stella 8
  • Kyle Schwarber 7
  • Mike Montgomery 7
  • Willson Contreras 6
  • Kyle Hendricks 4
  • Eddie Butler 4
  • Jon Jay 3
  • Miguel Montero 3
  • Felix Pena 3
  • Kris Bryant 3
  • Matt Szczur 2
  • Albert Almora 2
  • Justin Grimm 1
  • Ben Zobrist 0
  • Brian Duensing -1
  • Carl Edwards -1
  • Hector Rondon -3
  • Pierce Johnson -3
  • Ian Happ -3
  • Jason Heyward -4
  • Jon Lester -4
  • Pedro Strop -4
  • Brett Anderson -5
  • Jeimer Candelario -5
  • Jake Arrieta -5
  • Addison Russell -7
  • Koji Uehara -9
  • John Lackey -11
  • Javier Baez -16

The Cubs next game is tonight. Jake Arrieta takes the mound looking to continue the comes hot streak at home. My next column will be Monday, June 19. Hopefully I’ll return from vacation to a Cubs team that has remained hot and owns a few game lead in the division. With the draft and battles for playoff spots in the minor leagues, there will be plenty of action for everyone to follow while I’m gone.

Before we go, as always we’ll finish with a poll. Yesterday I gave you five choices plus other for Cubs player of the week and all six options received at least eight votes, which seems about right for what was a mixed bag for the Cubs after a week that saw them lose three to the Padres but win three from the Cardinals. Today, we’ll vote on last night’s Hero of the game.


Who was the Hero of the game for game 56?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Mike Montgomery
    (67 votes)
  • 30%
    Eddie Butler
    (37 votes)
  • 11%
    Kris Bryant
    (14 votes)
  • 1%
    Albert Almora
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (Please leave a comment below)
    (0 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now