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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 38

A lot of runs scored, even more given up in an extra-inning loss

Chicago Cubs v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Boy, did I want this to be the Matt Duffy game. He had another fantastic game, including his first homer as a Cub. He drove in five runs, including a go-ahead run in the 10th inning. But none of it was enough as for the Cubs pitching staff was completely unable to stop a fairly ho hum Tigers lineup. It’s a shame that Duffy’s supreme effort went to waste. It was by WPA, the third best game of the season. Some of you might recall that 10 days ago, he put up the highest WPA of the season. This from a guy who was almost an afterthought signing has been one of the most valuable players on the team through 38 games.

Craig Kimbrel had been another of the most valuable Cubs to date, but he couldn’t get the job done on Saturday. Handed a one run lead heading to the bottom of the 10th, he allowed two runs, took a blown save and a loss. I think I say this every single time we see an extra inning game; the adopted extra-inning rules make for interesting baseball, but I just don’t like it.

At that, I guess I’m taking an interesting position. I support the pitch clock and other rules to speed up baseball because I think at times the game gets long and boring. There can be just too much dead time in a game. Particularly when there are a number of mound conferences, pitching changes and pickoff throws all clumped together. The pace of the actual action can slow to a crawl. These new extra-inning rules inject some exciting situations and plenty of action into the game. But I still love tradition. So I don’t want to see the game of baseball turned upside down. I just want to see some sensible rules changes to keep the pace of the game moving along.

Nuanced? For sure. Realistic? I’m not sure. I recognize that I’m trying to thread a needle there with what I actually want to see happen.

We’ve got a quick turnaround to the Sunday game, so let’s get right to the numbers and leave discussions of rule changes for another day. 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 38, May 15: Tigers 9, Cubs 8 (18-20)

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero: Matt Duffy (.495). 3-5, HR, 2B, 5RBI, R, K
  • Hero: Keegan Thompson (.420). 2IP (7 batters faced), H, 0BB, 0R, 5K
  • Sidekick: Anthony Rizzo (.192). 2-5, 2B, 3RBI, R


  • Billy Goat: Craig Kimbrel (-.551). ⅔ IP (4 batters faced), 2H, 0BB, 2R (1ER), K (L 0-2)
  • Goat: Eric Sogard (-.275). 1-4, BB
  • Kid: Trevor Williams (-.207). 2IP (12 batters faced), 4H, 2BB, 3R, 2K

WPA Play of the Game: Harold Castro batted against Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the tenth inning, a runner on second and a tie game. He singled, driving in the winning run. (.391)

*Cubs Play of the Game: Matt Duffy batted with two on and one out in the top of the fifth inning. The Cubs were losing 6-4 at the time. He slugged a three-run go ahead homer. (.283)


Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Matt Duffy
    (82 votes)
  • 5%
    Keegan Thompson
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Anthony Rizzo
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Kris Bryant (2-4, BB, 3R)
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

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

  • Kris Bryant +10
  • Craig Kimbrel +8
  • Jake Marisnick +7
  • Ian Happ -7
  • David Bote/Zach Davies -8

Up Next: The third and final game of the set on Sunday afternoon. The Cubs are scheduled to start Kyle Hendricks. Kyle had a weird outing the last time wherein he induced a lot of soft contact, but that soft contact was yielding negative results for him. The net result was another ugly outing and another loss. Hopefully, his luck will turn around and the Cubs can win a series on the road.