The Cubs have reached the All-Star break, though they failed to stick the landing. A quick glimpse of the standings does show the Cubs in first place, but that is due in large part to the entire National League Central struggling in the first half. That’s probably not going to continue. I would expect at least one of those teams to have a sustained run after the break. Let’s hope it is the Cubs.
We last looked at Cumulative Standings for Heroes and Goats after game number 78, or 12 games ago. At that time, the Cubs were 43-35. So the team went just 4-8 after that, reaching the break at 47-43. We’ll take a look here at not only those Cumulative Standings, but also team offensive, pitching and fielding statistics and how they have changed since we last looked in.
We begin with the core subject of this series and that is Heroes and Goats. Here, we look at the full season standings.
Year to Date Total (change since last full standings)
(# = returned to minors, * = injured list, @ = restricted list, ! = released)
- Kris Bryant 17.5 (+4)
- Anthony Rizzo 16 (0)
- Willson Contreras 8 (0)
- *Cole Hamels 8 (0)
- Javier Baez 8 (+1)
- Kyle Schwarber 5 (+9)
- Daniel Descalso 4 (0)
- Brandon Kintzler 3.5 (0)
- Kyle Hendricks 3 (-2)
- Tyler Chatwood PH 3 (0)
- Victor Caratini 2.5 (+1)
- @Ben Zobrist 2.5 (0)
- #Rowan Wick 2 (0)
- *Xavier Cedeno 1 (0)
- #Dillon Maples .5 (+1)
- Jon Lester .5 (+1)
- Randy Rosario .5 (+3)
- #Tony Barnette 0 (-2)
- Tyler Chatwood -.5 (-3)
- #Taylor Davis -.5 (0)
- #Mark Zagunis -1 (0)
- Steve Cishek -1 (0)
- Jose Quintana -2 (0)
- *Allen Webster -2 (0)
- Kyle Ryan -2 (+2)
- Craig Kimbrel -3 (-3)
- #Adbert Alzolay -3 (-3)
- !Carlos Gonzalez -3 (-2)
- Addison Russell -3 (0)
- David Bote -4.5 (-4)
- Albert Almora Jr. -5.5 (+1)
- Brad Brach -6.5 (-1)
- Mike Montgomery -7 (-6)
- *Carl Edwards Jr. -9 (0)
- Jason Heyward -13 (+4)
- Yu Darvish -14 (-5)
Kris Bryant moves back into the top spot with +5.5 over the last three games before the break. Anthony Rizzo sits 1.5 points back and looks to add to his dominance in this space. Willson Contreras had been running third, but dropped -4 over the last two games before the break. He is now tied with injured Cole Hamels and Javier Baez who has been subdued for a while now. Kyle Schwarber checks in with the largest positive move over the period at +0. He had five appearances on the positive side including 2 1⁄2 Superheroes and two appearances on the negative side (one Billy Goat).
For the year, Yu Darvish has moved into the cellar with a couple of clunker starts by H&G standards (-5). Jason Heyward has pulled out of the cellar with his continued production (+4). I’m just about ready to suggest that perhaps JHey should hit in front of Baez and Bryant at the top. Carl Edwards Jr. built up a lot of negative points early in the season and had been pitching better before an injury put his season on hold. He should return soon and I expect him to move out of the bottom group.
We are up to 36 players now who have appeared in Heroes and Goats. 40 of them have played for the Cubs this year. The four who have appeared in at least one game but not in H&G is Tim Collins, Jim Adduci, James Norwood and newcomer Robel Garcia. I expect Garcia to get more chances to appear coming out of the break.
- Average: .254 was .253 (6th NL, 12th MLB)
- On Base: .336 was .336 (3rd NL, 7th MLB)
- Slugging: .452 was .448 (4th NL, 8th MLB)
- OPS: .788 was .785 (3rd NL, 7th MLB)
- Runs/game: 5.06 was 5.09 (5th NL, 12th MLB)
The offense actually managed to move up their batting average and slugging percentage with no drop from the on base percentage. Still, the overall team scoring dropped. This is very likely a case of poor sequencing and I expect that with a normal rest pattern the offense should be poised to break out in the second half.
- Hits/9: 8.4 was 8.3 (5th NL, 9th MLB)
- Walks/9: 3.5 was 3.5 (11th NL, T21st MLB)
- HR/9: 1.2 was 1.2 (T1st NL, T3rd MLB)
- K/9: 8.7 was 8.7 (9th NL, T15th MLB)
- Runs allowed/game: 4.44 was 4.27 (T3rd NL, T9th MLB)
- Quality Start %: 44 was 47 (T5th NL, T10th MLB)
- Average Game Score: 52 was 53 (T5th NL, T9th MLB)
- Save %: 61 was 60 (T10th NL, T18th MLB)
- Inherited Runner Score %: 31 was 31 (T6th NL, T13th MLB)
Pretty much across the board, the pitching numbers are worse. A big portion of this was the 18 runs allowed on July 1. They also had games of eight, seven, six and six in that stretch. Still, they allowed three four times (including the last three before the break) and had a shutout in that time. Save percentage has not perked up yet, despite the addition of Craig Kimbrel. He A) hasn’t had a lot of opportunity, B) hasn’t pitched quite like he is capable of and C) already blew a save himself.
- Errors: 65 was 53 (15th NL, 28th MLB)
- Defensive Efficiency [percentage of balls in play turned into outs]: .689 was .692 (6th NL, T12th MLB).
The defense trended down once more. The subpar defense has been one of the under rated storylines of the season to date. The Cubs would benefit greatly from increased offensive production from Albert Almora Jr., Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell (and the team as a whole) to justify keeping Almora and Russell on the field for their defense.
Who was the Cubs first half MVP?
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