The Cubs have yet to see excellent Tyler Chatwood for the most part in 2018 with the exception of one fantastic start against the Brewers. They have alternately seen reasonably effective Tyler Chatwood and train wreck Tyler Chatwood. Friday night, reasonably effective Chatwood showed up. It wasn’t dominant, but it was good enough to keep the Cubs in the game. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Zack Wheeler was fantastic for the Mets for six innings. The net result was the Cubs trailing 2-0 after six.
But the Mets have an over worked bullpen that basically pitched nine innings on Thursday given that Seth Lugo has only worked in relief for them until then. So the Mets sent Zack Wheeler out for a seventh inning. That seventh inning turned the game around. Wheeler allowed back to back singles to start that seventh and then the Mets pen came into the game. The Mets pen allowed both inherited runners to score and then proceeded to allowed a run of its own in the seventh. Then their pen allowed three more in the eighth and even closer Jeurys Familia, the only consistently effective member of their pen, allowed a run in the ninth.
The Cubs closed out their fourth win on this road trip in five tries. They move to a season high eight games over .500. It wasn’t a work of art, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a thing of beauty. This team seems to be starting to develop that swagger that comes from knowing that just because you fall behind a few runs that it isn’t over. Also, the starting rotation is starting to string together some decent starts. Even the bare minimum standard of a quality start (six innings pitched, three runs allowed) should be enough to make this team have a very good chance to win every night. Maybe, just maybe, the long awaited hot streak is underway.
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 54, June 1 - Cubs rally late to turn 2-0 deficit into 7-4 win (31-23)
THE THREE HEROES:
- Superhero - Ben Zobrist (.249). Ben had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances. His RBI double in the seventh tied the game at 2-2.
- Hero - Kris Bryant (.201). Kris also had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances. He’s been due to break out and last night was a strong step in that direction. He had a two out RBI single in the seventh to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
- Sidekick - Kyle Schwarber (.168). Kyle came off the bench to pinch hit in the seventh and had a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 2-1. He came to the plate with two on in the eighth and hit a three run homer. Nice day off.
THE THREE GOATS:
- Billy Goat - Anthony Rizzo (-.164). Anthony is such a nice guy that he decided to let his teammates do the work the last couple of days. He was one for five on the night. Surely he’ll turn it right back around quickly.
- Goat - Jason Heyward (-.119). After two plus years of struggling he probably wasn’t going to magically become a guy who got at least two hits every night. He was hitless in five at bats last night, but that still means he has eight hits in his last four games. And that’s still pretty good. I’m still encouraged at signs of life.
- Kid - Javier Baez (-.086). Javy was hitless in three at bats and struck out twice.
WPA Play of the Game - Kyle Schwarber stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with the Cubs leading 3-2. They had two on and two outs. He hit a three run homer. (.206)
*Mets Play of the Game - With no outs and a runner on first in a scoreless game in the third inning, Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run home-run. (.181)
- Superhero - Javier Baez 11
- Hero - Pedro Strop 10
- Sidekick - Steve Cishek, Tommy La Stella, Kyle Schwarber 8
Up Next: Game three of the four-game set between these two teams. Mike Montgomery makes his second start of the season for the Cubs. He was fantastic earlier on this trip against the Pirates. He threw 5⅔ innings allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out five. He should be a little better stretched out and if the situation dictates might be able to even go a little further. Mike did start a game against the Mets last June. He didn’t factor in the decision but he threw five innings allowing six hits, one walk, three runs (two earned) and striking out four.
The opposition is as tough as it gets. Jacob deGrom is having a fantastic season. He hasn’t benefited from a ton of run support, so his record is “only” 4-0. But he has a 1.52 ERA. In his last seven starts, that number is even better at 0.45 as he’s only allowed two runs in his last 40⅓ innings of work. Yes, five of the last seven starts he hasn’t allowed even a single run, earned or otherwise. Granted in one of those starts he only lasted one inning. He threw a complete game last June against the Cubs. He allowed five hits and one run while walking four and striking out six. This is one tough assignment for the Cubs. Maybe deGrom is due for a clunker?
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Albert Almora Jr.