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2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Games 1-20

A look at the cumulative standings for H&G and team statistics

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The bad news? The Cubs are 10-10 over their first 20 games. A lot of people had high expectations for the Cubs to get off to a good start. The funny thing is, the problem with those looks is that we base them on things we think we know. Like that the Rangers are bad. Except they are actually 12-8 and have now won two series against the Astros in addition to the one against the Cubs. All three of those series wins were at home, but that still looks like an impressive feat. The other two series the Cubs have lost this year were against the reigning National League Central and National League Eastern division champions.

I’m not making excuses. Certainly this team should have been better than 10-10. By mental tally, I have four games that got away that I thought could have been won. And they haven’t really stolen a game out of the jaws of defeat yet. Though yesterday’s Tyler Chatwood win was certainly a win in a game I didn’t expect they’d win.

The good news? The team is 7-3 over its last 10. They haven’t lost a series since they left Milwaukee on April 7. They did split one, but they’ve started the year 5-3 at home and they swept the woeful Marlins on the road.

Games 11-20 looked dramatically different than games 1-10 and we’ll be taking a look at the team statistics for the year. Before we get to that, we’ll look at the cumulative standings for Heroes and Goats, since that will always be the primary focus.

Cumulative Standings:

[# = returned to minors, * = on injured list]

YTD (change)

  • Jason Heyward 6 (+4)
  • Daniel Descalso 6 (+2)
  • Javier Baez 6 (+1)
  • Ben Zobrist 5.5 (-5.5)
  • Willson Contreras 5 (0)
  • Cole Hamels 5 (+5)
  • *Victor Caratini 4 (0)
  • Jose Quintana -3 (+6)
  • David Bote 2 (+3)
  • *Jon Lester 2 (0)
  • Brad Brach 1 (-1)
  • Brandon Kintzler 1 (0)
  • Steve Cishek 0 (+1)
  • Tyler Chatwood 0 (+2)
  • Anthony Rizzo -.5 (-3.5)
  • Mark Zagunis -1 (0)
  • Allen Webster -2 (-1)
  • *Mike Montgomery -2 (0)
  • #Randy Rosario -2 (+1)
  • Kyle Hendricks -3 (+3)
  • Kyle Schwarber -4 (-4)
  • Kris Bryant -4 (+1)
  • Pedro Strop -5 (-3)
  • Albert Almora Jr. -7 (-4)
  • Yu Darvish -8 (-6)
  • #Carl Edwards Jr. -8 (0)

Taylor Davis, Tim Collins and Kyle Ryan have appeared in games for the Cubs but have not yet appeared in Heroes and Goats. Alec Mills hasn’t yet made his first appearance of the season for the Cubs after being called up yesterday.

Jose Quintana made the biggest move (+6) of the period with two Superhero appearances. Cole Hamels was +5 and Jason Heyward at +4 to round out the biggest positive movers. The biggest negative movers are lead by Yu Darvish (-6) with two Billy Goat outings. Ben Zobrist had a -5.5 period after a huge first 10 games. Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber round out the biggest negative moves at -4 each.

Now, we turn our attention to team statistics. We’ll look at a group of statistics measuring offensive production, pitching performance and defensive metrics and see how the Cubs have stacked up and how they have moved over the last 10 games. (Rankings are through Sunday’s games.)

Offensive Statistics:

  • Average: .260 (was .289) [9th MLB, 5th NL]
  • On Base: .354 (was .380) [3rd MLB, 3rd NL]
  • Slugging: .433 (was .486) [14th MLB, 8th NL]
  • OPS: .787 (was .866) [14th MLB, 8th NL]
  • Runs/Game: 5.5 (was 7.2) [6th MLB, 3rd NL]

The lofty numbers of the first 10 games were unlikely to continue. Particularly coming home to April weather in Chicago which traditionally includes some cold, rainy days and the wind blowing in. Still, the team continues to be one of the highest scoring teams which is no surprise given the high on base percentage.

Pitching Statistics:

  • Hits/9: 8.8 (was 11) [22nd MLB, 13th NL]
  • Walks/9: 4.2 (was 6) [27th MLB, 13th NL]
  • HR/9: 1.5 (was 2.2) [21st MLB, 10th NL]
  • K/9: 9.4 (was 9.4) [11th MLB, 6th NL]
  • Runs allowed/game: 4.65 (was 7.1) [15th MLB, 8th NL]

Progress was made in all of the ares where the team was greatly lagging without losing the strikeouts per nine innings rate that was actually pretty good. These numbers trended extremely well over the last 10. If the Cubs continue that kind of progress over the next 10 games, they could start to emerge as a plus pitching staff after having been a heavy minus the first 10 games.

Cubs starting pitchers have recorded a quality start in 45% of their starts (up from 30%) and that is tied for 8th best in MLB (3rd NL). Their average game score is up to 53 (41) that’s 13th in MLB (7th NL). The Cubs have just two saves in six opportunities. At 33%, they are tied for worst in the majors with two other teams. Of course, they had no saves in three opportunities in the first 10 games, so this still registers as progress. The Cubs have allowed 43% of inherited runners to score (was 54%). That is 26th in MLB and 13th in the NL.

Team Defense:

  • Errors: 19 (was 12) [T28 in MLB, 15th in NL]
  • Defensive Efficiency [percentage of balls in play turned into outs]: .678 (was .622) [24th MLB, 12th NL]

The Cubs continue to be down near the bottom of defensive statistics. Of course, they made six errors in one game and there hasn’t really been enough to dilute that number yet. On the overall defensive efficiency, progress was made. I’d expect that number to continue to improve as they have a number of very strong defenders.


Who was the Cubs MVP of games 11-20?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Jose Quintana
    (60 votes)
  • 14%
    Cole Hamels
    (20 votes)
  • 38%
    Jason Heyward
    (54 votes)
  • 5%
    (8 votes)
142 votes total Vote Now