It’s probably not the most shocking event that will happen in a Cubs game this year. The Brewers have been playing extremely well and had six straight wins coming in. The Cubs had won 10 of 11, but they didn’t exactly look like world beaters against the Marlins, even while winning three of four.
It’s really hard to be dominant day in and day out. You try to have 25 guys who have the ability to get hot and provide a lot of value so that you don’t have to rely too heavily on any one player or any one group of players. The Cubs have done a good job of that, but the Brewers pitching was fantastic on Friday.
The Cubs did manage one pretty good scoring chance in the seventh, but despite two singles and a double, managed to not score. That’s a particularly difficult feat, but a double play between the second and third hits in the inning.
Meanwhile, the Brewers offense just kept tacking on. They end up making a pitcher’s duel into a rout in the process. That also allowed them to avoid using Josh Hader on Friday. Kyle Ryan was victimized for two more runs while only recording one out. Unless the Cubs just don’t believe Xavier Cedeno has anything left to contribute, I have to imagine Ryan will find himself back in Iowa shortly. Certainly, most of us think Ryan can contribute at the major league level, but it just isn’t working right now. He’s now been charged with 11 hits, six walks and seven runs in just 13 innings of work.
Of course Allen Webster followed him in this one and did even worse. He allowed three hits, three walks and two runs in 1⅔ innings of work in what became garbage time. He’s now allowed 14 hits, five walks and seven runs in just 11 innings of work. Unlike Ryan, Webster doesn’t have options remaining, so if the Cubs choose to let him go, there is a risk of losing him.
The Cubs were certainly not very sharp, but this game was quite a bit closer than the final score would indicate. Fortunately, they all count as just one win or just one loss, regardless of how lopsided they end up being.
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 36, May 10: Cubs 0, Brewers 7 (22-14)
- Superhero: Addison Russell (.059). Addison had a double and a walk in four plate appearances. This is Russell’s first appearance in Heroes and Goats in 2019.
- Hero/Sidekick: Albert Almora Jr. and David Bote (.047). Some unusual names topping the list today as the Cubs big bats were held in check. Albert had a double in four at bats. David had two singles and a walk in four plate appearances.
- Billy Goat: Jason Heyward (-.222). Heyward was hitless in four plate appearances. Included was a double play he hit into before the game as out of reach. It was only 3-0 and the Cubs had runners on first and second when he was doubled up (and it retired the two lead runners). (-.160)
- Goat: Anthony Rizzo (-.117). Anthony did have one walk in four plate appearances. He grounded out with Almora on second with one out in the sixth (-.054) and flew out with two outs and a runner on first in the third (-.055).
- Kid: Javier Baez (-.085). Javy had a single and two strike outs in four plate appearances. But, he did get caught stealing to snuff a potential rally in the second inning.
WPA Play of the Game: With Friday’s game largely being death by a thousand paper cuts, the biggest WPA event of the game was Jason Heyward’s double play in the bottom of the seventh. (160)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Albert Almora’s sixth inning double leading off the inning. (.110)
Cumulative Standings Top/Bottom 3:
- Willson Contreras 9
- Jon Lester/Jose Quintana 7
- David Bote -8
- Carl Edwards Jr. -9
- Albert Almora Jr. -11
Up Next: The two teams will meet again on Saturday with the Cubs looking to reverse the result from Friday’s game. The Brewers will be looking for an eighth straight win and sole possession of first place. There’s a ton of baseball still be played, but sports are always just a little bit more fun when you are in first place.
The Cubs will turn to Cole Hamels to start this one. Cole is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 42⅔ innings of work on the season. Cole is coming off of a no-decision against the Marlins early on this homestand. He threw six innings in that one and allowed five hits, two walks and three runs while striking out seven. Cole started the Cubs one win in Milwaukee earlier this year. In that one, Hamels threw six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out five. He also faced the Brewers once last year, going six innings in a no decision. He allowed five hits, one walks and two runs. He struck out five. Current Brewers have 174 plate appearances against Cole and he’s held them to a .718 OPS. Ryan Braun has the most experience against Cole (47 PA, .798 OPS). Hernan Perez has the best success against him, with a 1.248 OPS in 15 PA. One guy Cole has really stopped, though in a small sample, is Mike Moustakas (nine PA, .347)
The Brewers send their best pitcher to date to the mound in Zach Davies. Zach has gotten some great results in the early going. He is 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in 40⅓ innings. He is coming off of a win against the Mets at home. In that one, he lasted 7⅔ innings, allowing six hits, a walk and two runs. He struck out five. He was allowed to make 118 pitches in that one, so we’ll see if there is any fall out from that. He faced the Cubs earlier this year and got a no decision in a game the Brewers eventually won. He threw 5⅔ innings and allowed only two hits, two walks while holding the Cubs to two unearned runs. In three starts in 2018, Zach was 0-1 with four runs allowed in 16⅔ innings of work. Current Cubs have 251 plate appearances against Zach with a .243/.300/.749 line. Kris Bryant has both the most plate appearances and the most success (40, 1.032 OPS). Jason Heyward has struggled against Davies (25, .334).
This looks like another well-pitched game. Hopefully, the Cubs can bounce back and get their bats going.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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Albert Almora Jr.
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