After Thursday’s convincing victory over the Brewers, there was a feeling and an impression that maybe a few things clicked and the Cubs were back on track. There was some bad news as Anthony Rizzo was scratched from the lineup, though even that didn’t seem too bad as it appears to be a day to day issue. Then the Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and through four innings, 2016 Cy Young finalist Kyle Hendricks held that lead. The Brewers even went to their bullpen in just the fourth inning.
Everything seemed great. Sure the Brewers threatened in both the third and the fourth, but Hendricks wiggled out of trouble each time. Then the fifth inning happened. Much like Jose Quintana’s start, almost all of the wind came out of this game in one inning. That Brewers relief pitcher lead off the inning with a single and one out later Eric Thames homered to tie the game. Ryan Braun followed with a single and then Travis Shaw homered and just like that it was 4-2 Brewers.
The Cubs battled back with two of their own in the top of the sixth on a Javier Baez little league home run. As Javy will do, he aggressively went for a triple on a ball he hit into the right field corner. Brewer’s right fielder Eric Sogard tried to throw him out going to third and the throw bounced off of Baez who then easily trotted home to tie the game. Unfortunately, that was the last run the Cubs would score.
With that, we turn our attention to yesterday’s game as we look at what WPA had to say about Heroes and Goats. As always the 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. 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 7, April 6 - Cubs lose to Brewers 5-4 on ninth inning walk off (3-4)
THE THREE HEROES:
- Superhero - Javier Baez (.145). He only had the one hit in four at bats, but given the outcome for WPA purposes it had exactly the same effect a two-run homer would have.
- Hero - Tommy La Stella (.118). Tommy gave the Cubs fans some excitement in the ninth inning. With one out he doubled on the first pitch he saw as a pinch hitter. Unfortunately, he moved no further with the potential go ahead run.
- Sidekick - Steve Cishek (.117). Cishek has been fantastic in the early going. He faced just one batter in this one, but that one was a big one. Justin Wilson had gotten the Cubs out of a jam in the sixth inning with a strike out. He stayed in to pitch the seventh and struck out the first batter and got the second to fly out. Then he walked the next three hitters. Cishek came in and got a nice looking strike out of his own to escape the jam.
THE THREE GOATS:
- Billy Goat - Mike Montgomery (-.355). Mike has been on the mound at the end of a number of games in his career including one quite memorable one. This one was not as good. It started out fine when he struck out the first batter he faced. But a walk, a single with a misplayed ball and another single and the Brewers walked it off.
- Goat - Kyle Hendricks (-.247). Kyle did not have a good night at all. In five innings of work he allowed nine hits, one walk, two home runs and four runs. He only struck out one. He retired the side in order only once and there were only two innings with no hits allowed.
- Kid - Ben Zobrist (-.180). What goes up must come down. Ben has been scorching hot to start the season, but on Friday he managed just one walk in five plate appearances. The Cubs offense as a whole was pretty quiet Friday with just seven hits and four walks, one of which was intentional. Many nights four runs will be good enough for this team, but not last night.
WPA Play of the Game - The sixth inning began with the Cubs trailing 4-2 after a four run rally for the Brewers in the bottom of the fifth. Addison Russell was first up and drew a walk. After a balk moved Russell to second, Victor Caratini struck out and Jason Heyward lined out. It looked like the Cubs might squander the opportunity Russell had provided when Javier Baez hit one into the right field corner. Addison Russell scored easily and when Baez tried for third, the throw struck him and bounced away allowing Javy to tie the score. (.239)
*Brewers play of the game - Eric Thames two run homer to tie the game 2-2 (.237).
- Superhero - Steve Cishek 4
- Hero - Kris Bryant, Eddie Butler, Tyler Chatwood, Tommy La Stella 3
Up Next: Game three of this four-game series with the Brewers. Yu Darvish will pitch for the Cubs. He’s only made one career start against the Brewers and that was last August. He threw five innings allowing six hits, three walks, three runs. He did strike out seven, but he took the loss. For the Brewers, Zach Davies is on the mound. He made five starts against the Cubs last year. He threw 32 innings allowing 33 hits, five walks and 13 runs. He struck out 24 and allowed four home runs. He had a 2-2 record.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Tommy La Stella
Carl Edwards Jr.
Other (please leave your suggestion in the comments)