Saturday’s game was something that’s been coming for some time. Is it a dead cat bounce? We can’t know at this time. But even the worst teams sometimes beat up on the best teams. Baseball will give you those games for some time. Will the Braves right their ship and be a contender? Who knows? But they’ve gotten off to a slow start too and then with injuries to a couple of key players, maybe they don’t find their groove or it is too late before they get there.
It doesn’t matter how good the teams are or will be. On Saturday, the Cubs beat the snot out of the Braves. Sometimes these wins can ease the pressure on a struggling team. We can only hope. But for the time being, this one was just fun for a change. A reminder of how good this team can look when things are going right.
Willson Contreras looks right now like a man desperately trying to lift a team up and throw them on his shoulders. Kris Bryant looks like a man who is healthy for the first time in a few years. He’s already hit more home runs this year in the first three weeks than he hit all of last year in an injury-abbreviated, pandemic-shortened season. Anthony Rizzo had three hits including a triple. Leaders led the offense. And Trevor Williams had his second strong Wrigley Field start in two tries.
For one day, just about everything looked great. Kyle Hendricks is in line to start the Sunday game. Maybe he can be on top of his game and they can win another one. But before we can get there, we have to cover this one.
With that, we’ll turn our attention to Heroes and Goats. As you’ll recall, the Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added) 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. With that, let’s get to the results.
Game 14: Cubs 13, Braves 4 (6-8)
- Superhero: Willson Contreras (.179). 2-4, 2HR (4,5), 2RBI, 2R
- Hero: Trevor Williams (.171). 5IP (21 batters faced), 4H, 3BB, 1R, 4K (W 2-1)
- Sidekick: David Bote (.096). 2-4, HR (2), 2B, 4RBI, R
- Billy Goat: Ian Happ (-.050). 1-5, 2K
- Goat: Joc Pederson (-.011). 0-2, 2BB, 2R
- Kid: Shelby Miller*(.000). 1IP (8 batters faced), 3H, 2BB, 3R, 1K
(Shelby Miller was selected as a scorer’s decision. Seven different Cubs recorded a WPA of .000 for this one. Miller’s performance was the least helpful of the seven)
WPA Play of the Game: This one didn’t take long. Willson Contreras batted with the bases empty and one out in the bottom of the first, the game still tied at zero. But not for long. He launched the first of two homers and gave the Cubs the first of what would be 13 unanswered runs to start the game. (.105)
*Braves Play of the Game: Ehire Adrianza had a bunt single with a runner on first and no outs in the top of the second, the Braves down 1-0. (.063)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Anthony Rizzo (3-4, 3B)
Kris Bryant (3-5, 2HR, 4RBI, 3R)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Willson Contreras +9.5
- Craig Kimbrel +9
- Dillon Maples +4
- David Bote -5
- Zach Davies -6
- Anthony Rizzo -7
Up Next: On Sunday, the Cubs and Braves conclude their three-game set. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to make the start. The Cubs will be looking for two wins in a row and a series win.