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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 23

The offense is once again missing in action as Cubs fall 5-0

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Same old story, different day. The Cubs offense was impotent against the Braves. Sure, they had a talented young hurler on the mound. But it really doesn’t seem to matter much these days. Sure, every now and then the offense clicks. When a pitcher is throwing them just the right shape, speed, location, whatever of pitches. But most of the time, they just look over matched.

The pitching wasn’t horrible, though they did eventually allow five runs. Five runs is entirely too many and teams don’t win a ton of games when they allow five runs. This team is likely to lose close to 100 percent of the games in which it allows five or more. But, this was a two-run game into the eighth inning. There are no guarantees other than that sequencing surely would have been different had the game been tied or the Cubs been up.

And that is nothing to say the boost that a pitcher gets when he’s actually handed a lead to work with. It can literally change everything. We saw that last week when the offense was lighting up the scoreboard like a pinball machine. But it seems more and more likely that last week was the aberration with each passing day.

There’s not a lot to dwell on here, so we’ll just get to the numbers. 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 23, April 27: Braves 5, Cubs 0 (10-13)

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero: Ryan Tepera (.029). IP (4 batters faced), H, 0BB, 0R, 2K
  • Hero: Rex Brothers (.023). IP (3 batters faced), 0H, 0BB, 0R, 2K
  • Sidekick: Dan Winkler (.002). ⅓IP (1 batter faced), 0H, 0BB, 0R, 0K


  • Billy Goat: Ian Happ (-.082). 0-3, 2K
  • Goat: Nico Hoerner (-.076). 1-4, K
  • Kid: David Bote (-.065). 0-4, 3K

WPA Play of the Game: Ronald Acuña Jr. homered leading off the fifth inning off of Trevor Williams. That was the first run of the game. (.154)

*Cubs Play of the Game: Ian Anderson batted with the bases loaded and only one out in the second inning. Trevor Williams recorded a potentially huge strikeout. (.077)


Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Ryan Tepera
    (13 votes)
  • 4%
    Rex Brothers
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Dan Winkler
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    (18 votes)
  • 66%
    None of the above
    (76 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now

Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)

  • Craig Kimbrel +9
  • Jake Arrieta +6
  • Willson Contreras +5.5
  • Jason Adam -6
  • Ian Happ -8
  • Zach Davies -11

Up Next: Game three of a four-game set is Wednesday night. Kyle Hendricks is scheduled to start for the Cubs. He had his best start of the young season last time and will look to continue to get back into his normal excellent form. Recall that he has been a bit of a slow starter in his career, with his results more or less improving as the season moves along.