The fun that was Saturday afternoon faded awfully quickly into the disaster that was Sunday night’s game. This one looked a lot like many other games so far this year for the Cubs. That is, the pitching staff was victimized by the big inning (twice, actually) and the offense wasn’t particularly potent.
Things have gotten bad quickly for this Cubs team. On Sunday, Kyle Hendricks got caught up in the bad. He’s been a slow starter frequently in his career and so I’m not super worried, though Sunday night was clearly one of the worst starts of his excellent career. This team looks overmatched more days than not so far this year. That’s hard to watch and more than a little confusing. A lot of the same faces are here, but things just go poorly seemingly day in and day out.
There were at least a few signs of life over the weekend. Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras have more often than not been pretty decent, but two people just isn’t really enough to create a lot of runs. Anthony Rizzo got into the action and David Bote has made some contributions too. It’s still not enough, but at least it hasn’t been so bad.
Of course, if the pitching staff continues to allow crooked numbers, particularly early in games, this team is going to be in a lot of trouble. An off day awaits Monday and then this team has simply got to get better and fast or this is going to get really ugly.
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 15, April 18: Braves 13 at Cubs 4 (6-9)
- Superhero: Anthony Rizzo (.067). 2-4, 2HR (2,3), 2RBI, 2R
- Hero: Javier Baez (.055). 2-4, 2B, RBI, SB, 2K
- Sidekick: David Bote (.035). 1-3, 2B, K
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.413). 4IP (22 batters faced), 7H, 3BB, 7R, HBP, 2K (L 0-2)
- Goat: Jason Heyward (-.067). 0-4, K
- Kid: Alec Mills (-.038). 1IP (9 batters faced), 5H, BB, 3R, K
WPA Play of the Game: With the Braves already leading 1-0, Travis d’Arnaud batter with a runner on first and one out. He slugged a two-run homer and gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. (.157)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Anthony Rizzo homered leading off the third inning. That cut the deficit to 6-3. (.072)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Willson Contreras +9.5
- Craig Kimbrel +9
- Dillon Maples +4
- David Bote/Anthony Rizzo -4
- Zach Davies -6
Up Next: The Cubs have a day off Monday. They’ll begin a three game series with the first place (NL East) Mets on Tuesday evening. Jake Arrieta is the likely starter in the opener.