The beat goes on for another night. The Cubs win a sixth straight. The formula remains the same. In each of the six games, they’ve received a quality start from their starter. The offense does their part and the Cubs continue to try to work around the early season bullpen woes.
The schedule makers gave the Cubs seven consecutive games against the Pirates and Royals early in this season. The Cubs have now won the first six of those seven games. That paired with two of three against the Reds and Brewers have the Cubs out to a terrific start. Those four teams the Cubs have played have horrific overall records so far in 2020. But bear in mind in this early going, some of that is because the Cubs beat them. The Brewers were expected to contend in the NL Central and the Reds were a team that many thought could also do that. Regardless, the only team that you can beat is the one in the other dugout.
Last night, it was Yu Darvish’s turn in the rotation. Yu got into a bit of trouble early, but worked through a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam allowing only one run in the third. The Cubs created a similar situation in the fourth and pushed across two runs. Through seven innings, that was where the game stood.
Besides strong starting pitching, the other calling card for the Cubs has been late scoring. Yesterday’s game was no exception. The Cubs plated two runs in the eighth inning, stringing together three straight singles after a two-out bases empty error by the Royals. They came back and added two more runs in the top of the ninth. All of that took the drama out of the ninth inning and turned what looked like another one run game into a bit of a laugher.
It’s hard to imagine how the first 12 games of this abbreviated season could have gone any better. The Cubs are 10-2 and have already built a 4½-game lead on the Brewers in the division. They’ve done all of that while staying healthy.
Game 13, August 7: Cubs 6, Royals 1 (10-2)
- Superhero: Yu Darvish (.403). Darvish threw seven innings, allowing five hits, a walk and one run. He struck out four.
- Hero: Javier Baez (.161). Javy had two hits in four at bats. Each of those hits was a two-out RBI single.
- Sidekick: Anthony Rizzo (.118). Rizzo had two hits and a walk in five plate appearances. He scored twice.
- Billy Goat: Jason Heyward (-.075). Heyward was hitless in four at bats and struck out once.
- Goat: Nico Hoerner (-.072). Nico was hitless in four at bats and struck out once.
- Sidekick: Kyle Schwarber (-.054). Schwarber was hitless in three at bats. He did draw a walk.
WPA Play of the Game: Javier Baez had a two-out RBI-single in the fourth inning to tie the game at one. (.143)
*Royals Play of the Game: Kris Bubic coaxed a double play off of the bat of Javy Baez in the sixth inning after an Anthony Rizzo leadoff single. (.086)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Tyler Chatwood 6
- Jeremy Jeffress, Alec Mills, Jason Kipnis 5
- Nico Hoerner -5.5
- Jason Heyward, Kris Bryant -6
With one of the Cubs starters being in the top two positions every single night, the hitters are taking a pounding in these standings. The championship team in 2016 featured all five starters in the top six of the cumulative standings. That year, only three hitters reached the top 10. Anthony Rizzo was third, Tommy La Stella seventh and Miguel Montero rounded out the top 10. So these standings were not kind to the every day players.
Up Next: The final game of this four game home and home series is tonight in Kansas City. Tyler Chatwood makes his third start of the year, looking to continue his torrid start to the 2020 season. Brad Keller is slated to be the opposition. The Vegas odds continue to show the Cubs as decent favorites. Let’s see if they can complete the four-game sweep before heading to St. Louis to face the hated Cardinals.
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
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