There wasn’t a lot of good in this one, so it is time for rapid recap edition. Kyle Hendricks didn’t have it Friday night. He was tagged for 10 hits, a walk and seven runs. The three runs in the first inning have become a really unsurprising Kyle Hendricks thing. He struggles with the first inning. But then after allowing another run in the third, getting a scoreless fourth and then two outs to start the fifth, you had to wonder if he’d sneak out five innings of four run ball and with the team down just one, maybe the Cubs could steal one. Three hits and a walk lead to three more runs and this one was effectively over.
Albert Almora Jr. had a four-hit game. Add to that the hit by pitch and homer he had on Thursday as a sub and he had reached base in six straight plate appearances including a homer and a double. That will do wonders for the OPS, particularly this early in the season. I’ve been rough on Albert, so I’ll welcome any closet fans who want to give me a hard time about that. Even more, I’d welcome Albert continuing to make me look silly. There are times when it is great to be wrong.
Kris Bryant and Javier Baez each hit homers. The two home runs briefly made this one interesting. At least until the Hendricks bus had a flat tire. The bullpen walked five batters in three innings of work. But, they only allowed one hit and one run. Of course, that last run scored after a walk. The Cubs offense put together a fake rally in the ninth inning against a tiring Diamondbacks reliever trying to cherry pick a three inning save. But Almora struck out to end the game. Had he reached base, it would have been interesting. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
That pretty much sums up this game. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. They’ll try to snap a two-game losing streak Saturday night.
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 24, April 26: Cubs 3 at Diamondbacks 8 (12-12)
- Superhero: Kris Bryant (.160). He had a two-run homer and a walk in four plate appearances. He’s slowly creeping his way out of an early slump.
- Hero/Sidekick: Albert Almora Jr./Javier Baez (.070). Albert had four hits including a double in five at bats. Javier had two hits including a solo homer. Each struck out once.
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.435). As noted above, five innings, 10 hits, one walk, seven runs and three strike outs. It’s early, but this is third biggest negative WPA game of the season to date.
- Goat: Anthony Rizzo (-.116). With Almora on base four times at the top of the order and Bryant twice in the two hole, Anthony saw a lot of traffic. He did nothing with it. He was hitless in four at bats.
- Kid: Willson Contreras (-.084). He saw a little less traffic than Anthony from the five spot, but the story was the same. He too was hitless in four at bats.
WPA Play of the Game: Kris Bryant batted with a runner on first and two outs in the third inning. He hit a two-run homer to cut the lead to 4-3. (.164)
*Diamondbacks Play of the Game: Wilmer Flores batted with two outs and runners on second and third in the first inning. Flores delivered with a two-run single to make it 3-0 Diamondbacks. (.140)
Cumulative Standings Top/Bottom 3:
(# = returned to minors)
- Javier Baez 10.5
- Jason Heyward 7
- Willson Contreras 6
- Kyle Schwarber -7
- Yu Darvish/#Carl Edwards Jr. -8
Up Next: The Cubs will look to snap a five-game Diamondbacks winning streak that dates back to their last loss against the Cubs on Sunday, April 21. The Cubs will also be looking to snap their own two-game losing streak and to climb back over .500.
Yu Darvish will be on the mound for the Cubs. He is 1-3 with a 5.96 ERA in 22⅔ innings on the year. Last time out he faced the D-backs and threw five innings allowing five hits, three walks and three runs. He did strikeout seven. He faced them one time in August of 2017 and picked up a win when he struck out 10 batters in five innings and allowed five hits, three walks and three runs.
Zack Godley, the former Cubs farmhand, will start for the D-backs. Zack is 1-1 with a 6.67 ERA in 27 innings of work on the season. He did not start in the series in Chicago. He did faces the Cubs once last July in Wrigley Field. He got a no decision for 5⅔ innings of work. He allowed seven hits, one walk and four runs while striking out six. The Cubs also split two decisions against Zack in 2017.
Yesterday’s game looked like a pitchers’ duel and we saw 11 runs scored. Today’s looks like a slug-fest. Maybe it’ll be a 2-1 game?
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Albert Almora Jr.