The April theme for the Cubs in 2021 has been feast or famine. Thursday night, it was feast for the Cubs. That makes this game the oasis in the desert after being shut out three times in four games on the way to a five-game skid.
There’s been a lot of doom and gloom and I’ve certainly been right in the middle of it. But this one was fun to watch. It was great to see the guys laugh and have some fun. It would be great if that were some kind of panacea that cured what ails them. I doubt it will be, any more than the sweep of the Mets last week. But, it was a win, a win that this team needed. The start by Alzolay is no small thing. He’s been really tough to hit, even for a Brewers team that saw him three times. He appears to need to develop some stamina and to gain some confidence. But it seems apparent that he is a sponge, trying to soak in what some seasoned veterans are telling him. Finally, the Cubs system appears to have produced a starting pitcher. Talk about an oasis in the desert.
If this season does continue off in a sideways or even down direction, the development of young players like Alzolay and Nico Hoerner will be what’s most important. So far, both look like they are learning and improving on the job. That’s all we can ask for out of them.
With that, 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. And now, let’s get to the results.
Game 25, April 29: Cubs 9 at Braves 3 (11-14)
- Superhero: Matt Duffy (.175). 2-4, 2BB, 2R, RBI
- Hero: Adbert Alzolay (.144). 6IP (24 batters faced), 4H, BB, 2R, 6K, HBP (W, 1-2)
- Sidekick: Kris Bryant (.134). 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI, R, 2K
- Billy Goat: Ryan Tepera (-.039). ⅓IP (4 batters faced), 2H, BB, 1R, 0K
- Goat: Willson Contreras (-.016). 1-4, BB, SF, RBI, R, SB
- Kid: Jake Marisnick (-.006). 1-5, HR (2), RBI, R
WPA Play of the Game: Matt Duffy was on third and Javier Baez first with two outs in the top of the first, the Cubs leading 1-0. Braves starter Bryse Wilson balked to give the Cubs a run. That WPA ends up in Duffy’s column. (.079)
*Braves Play of the Game: Austin Riley batted with runners on first and second and two outs in the fourth inning, the Cubs leading 4-0. Riley singled to cut the Cubs lead by one. (.070)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Craig Kimbrel +9
- Jake Arrieta +6
- Jake Marisnick +5
- Jason Adam -6
- Ian Happ -8
- Zach Davies -11
Up Next: The Cubs travel to Cincinnati for three with the Reds. Jake Arrieta will be on the mound, hopefully putting together another solid start. The Cubs will seek back-to-back wins after losing five straight.