Yu Darvish dominated the Brewers for seven innings, allowing a single hit in the seventh inning. That solo homer by Justin Smoak was the lone blemish on an otherwise dominant night. Yu walked two and struck out 11. This kind of start continues to be symbolic of this hot start to the Cubs season. The Cubs have received 13 good to dominant starts in 16 games and they’ve ridden those starts to victory.
On the other side, the Cubs aren’t obliterating the opposition. But, they have been putting up runs at a healthy rate. They’ve scored four or more runs in 13 games. No one player is putting up eye-popping numbers. The Cubs are simply contributing top to bottom over time. One guy doesn’t have a big game, but someone else steps up. To this point, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber have been relatively subdued. Those guys are typically the core to the Cubs lineup. Most of them have had moments, but all of them are down from their career paces.
There are two pieces of good news. First, the Cubs are 13-3 without dominance from the top players. Second, even in a short season like this, those players are likely to have the type of outbursts that can carry the team for days or a week.
This team is winning quite simply because it is getting contributions more than 20 deep. This front office gets a lot of criticism. No one is perfect to be sure. But this front office deserves a ton of credit for pulling together this group of players. Yes, they have to own the mistakes they’ve made. Certainly, we’d all be more comfortable if there were more arms down in the bullpen who inspired fear in the opposition. But, once again, this team is poised to make a run at a championship.
This continues to be the golden era of Cubs baseball.
Game 16, August 13: Cubs 4, Brewers 2 (13-3)
- Superhero: Yu Darvish (.342). Seven innings, one hit, one run, two walks and 11 strikeouts.
- Hero: Ian Happ (.130). Ian led the way offensively with two hits and a walk. He drove in one and scored one.
- Sidekick: Kyle Schwarber (.051). Schwarber had a solo homer in four at bats.
- Billy Goat: David Bote (-.057). Bote actually had a hit and an RBI in four at bats, but lands here.
- Goat: Javier Baez (-.033). Javy makes it two guys who drove in runs down here. He was hitless in four at bats, but drove in the first run on a first inning ground out.
- Kid: Anthony Rizzo (-.028). Had one walk in four plate appearances.
WPA Play of the Game: Kyle Schwarber’s homer leading off the second inning made it 2-0. (.091)
*Brewers Play of the Game: With a runner on first and no out and the Cubs already up 2-0, Brett Anderson coaxed a double play off of the bat of Ian Happ. (.052)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Ian Happ 9
- Jon Lester/Yu Darvish 7
- Willson Contreras -6
- Anthony Rizzo -7
- Kris Bryant -10
Up Next: Game two of the four-game set tonight at Wrigley Field against the Brewers. Tyler Chatwood will look to bounce back from getting shelled against the Royals last week. Brandon Woodruff has been one of the best Brewers starters so far this season. The odds-makers have this one pretty close. Hopefully, Tyler can bounce back and the Cubs can continue their impressive run.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game
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