This game won’t ease the frustration of Cub Nation. One of the more interesting games from a WPA and Heroes and Goats standpoint is a game that people are going to be frustrated and angry about. The Cubs bats finally produced some runs, but the defense allowed another unearned run and the pitching issued seven walks in nine plus innings to contribute to this loss.
It wasn’t a Bleed Cubbie Blue reader that I’m aware of, but I read recently on twitter that someone was suggesting that the Cubs traded Jorge Soler for nothing. I like Brandon Morrow and one rough outing doesn’t sour me on him at all. But to say that the Cubs got nothing for Soler last year is crazy. Wade Davis was as dominant a closer as I’ve ever watched up close. Wade didn’t blow a save until just before the division was clinched last year. People don’t credit just how difficult and impressive that is. A team is going to experience a game like this every month or so even with a very good closer. It happens. It is frustrating, but it happens.
What doesn’t happen is a lot of good things after five walks allowed in four plus innings. Tyler Chatwood did that and as a result he allowed four runs (three earned) and was out of the game due to ineffectiveness and a relatively high pitch count after one batter into the fifth inning. Maybe I’ll come around, but I’m just not happy with Chatwood. I’m not going to enjoy watching him the next couple of years, fifth starter or no. That is now 27 walks in 32⅔ innings on the year.
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 30, May 5 - Cubs blow 4-0 and 6-4 leads to lose 8-6 in 10 innings (16-14)
THE THREE HEROES:
- Superhero - Pedro Strop (.168). Pedro threw two scoreless innings allowing just a single hit. Pedro is 3-0 on the year with a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings of work with 13 strikeouts.
- Hero - Jason Heyward (.145). Jason reached base three times in five plate appearances. He had two hits and a walk. This was a very good day for historically maligned Cubs players. Jason is up to a line of .231/.324/.352. His BABIP is only .253, so he’s likely to still improve over the year.
- Sidekick - Anthony Rizzo (.136). Anthony had two hits in five at bats on the day including another home run, his third of the week. He also drove in two runs. Slowly but surely his numbers are rounding into shape. He’s up to .187/.275/.319. His BABIP is .183. He’s certainly heading for some positive regression.
THE THREE GOATS:
- Billy Goat - Brandon Morrow (-.410). Brandon was simply ineffective. He walked the first batter he faced and allowed two more hits including a two run double in his inning of work. These were the first two runs charged to him this year.
- Goat - Luke Farrell (-.364). Ouch. Luke faced two batters in the tenth inning. He walked one and allowed a towering homer run to the other. Game over.
- Kid - Tyler Chatwood (-.285). He lasted one batter into the fifth inning. Fittingly that was his fifth walk of the game. He also allowed three hits and four runs (three earned). He struck out five.
WPA Play of the Game - Brandon Morrow was handed a two run lead in the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs hadn’t lost a game all year in which they lead after the sixth inning. He walked the first batter he faced. He recovered with a strike out. But then he allowed a single and a double to the next two hitters. (.501)
*Cubs Play of the Game - Javy Baez homered with one out in the sixth to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead. (.173)
- Superhero - Javier Baez 13
- Hero - Pedro Strop 8
- Sidekick - Kyle Schwarber, Steve Cishek and Tommy La Stella 6
Up Next: The two teams complete a three-game series with a little Sunday Night Baseball. The Cubs will be looking to snap a four game losing streak. Jon Lester will start for the Cubs. He’s coming off of a decent start against the Rockies. He lasted 5⅔ innings and allowed two runs but neither was earned. He allowed five hits and three walks while striking out five. He faced the Cardinals on April 19 throwing six innings and allowing two hits, one walk and one unearned run. He’s 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA on the year. He’s won his last three starts against the Cardinals.
Michael Wacha starts for the Cardinals. Wacha has lost his last three starts against the Cubs. In four starts against the Cubs in 2017, he was 0-3, threw 22 innings, allowed 25 hits, walked 10, and allowed 19 runs, all earned. To his credit, he did have 26 strikeouts. On paper this looks like just the matchup to turn around this losing streak.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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