Pardon me for a moment while I use the royal “we.” We here at Heroes and Goats have had quite a 24 hours. A whole lot of rain, a not insignificant amount of driving, plenty of 14-year-olds playing softball and a lack of a stable Internet connection have delayed this article. To all of my loyal leaders (and also those of you who are just bored and clicking on articles), this is A) a thanks for you reading and B) a forewarning that H&G might be a little disheveled and not as timely as usual.
The Cubs returned from the break and picked right back up where they left off. They fell behind early, trailing 2-0 and 3-1 before scoring five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead and then held on to win a 9-6 game. Hopefully, you all read Al’s recap and have seen and heard all of the statistics from the game, so we won’t dilly dally and will move right on to the numbers.
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 94. July 19 - Cubs rally to win fourth straight 9-6 (56-38)
THE THREE HEROES:
- Superhero - Jason Heyward (.235). Jason had three hits, a stolen base, two runs and two RBI in five at bats. The big contribution was a two-run single in the fifth.
- Hero - Victor Caratini (.200). Victor got a start behind the plate and was credited with three hits and a walk on the day. He scored three runs and drove in one. He singled to open the fifth inning.
- Sidekick - Ian Happ (.114). Ian had just one hit in his four at bats. It was a two run homer to cap off the five run, fifth inning rally.
THE THREE GOATS:
- Billy Goat - Kyle Hendricks (-.140). Following this game while watching softball and then travelling, I was largely following on Twitter. In case you wondered, the kind folks of Twitter have already suggested that Kyle not be included in the playoff rotation. What have you done for me lately, anyway? Kyle threw 4.2 innings, allowed nine hits and three runs. He only walked one, but he allowed another home run. A very long home run.
- Goat - Albert Almora Jr. (-.050). Albert had just one at bat, pinch hitting in the bottom of the sixth with no outs and runners on first and third. He hit a grounder to third that resulted in an out at the plate.
- Kid - Kyle Schwarber (-.047). One of the few players who didn’t get in on the party, Kyle was hitless in four at bats.
WPA Play of the Game: Ian Happ batted in the fifth inning with the Cubs winning 4-3, a runner on second and two outs. He hit a home run. (.174).
*Cardinals Play of the Game: In the top of the fifth inning, Kolton Wong batted with two outs and the bases loaded with the Cardinals leading 2-1. He had an infield hit to tag a run onto the lead. (.106)
- Superhero - Javier Baez 22.5
- Hero - Brandon Morrow 13
- Sidekick - Jon Lester 12
Up Next: Tomorrow, I’ll have the recap of today’s Cubs/Cardinals game. The starters were Jon Lester and Jack Flaherty. I don’t want to talk about that one too much as I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers ahead of tomorrow’s column!
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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