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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 48

Cubs win third straight; move to season high four over .500

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It seemed fitting to use a photo of Trevor Williams after he made an offensive contribution. He had two singles on Wednesday and both of them contributed to runs scoring. As regular Heroes and Goats readers will know, those singles have nothing to do with Trevor’s Superhero performance. He got there solely based upon his pitching performance. This was the second Superhero performance of the year for Williams and the second against the Pirates, his old employer.

The offensive star of the game was David Bote. His two-run homer was the game’s big blow. David has had a tough year, with just a .191 average to this point in the season. However, he’s made the most of his 26 hits. He has 22 RBI on the season. To put that in perspective, Kris Bryant has 50 hits and his driven in 30 runs. Bote has had a bit of a knack for driving in runs the last two years.

Here are some statistics that I noticed while poring over Cubs stats. First, 48 games into the season, they’ve not thrown a single team shutout. Second, the Cubs are 23-3 when allowing three runs or fewer. That’s particularly impressive with no shutouts in that mix. Of course, the flip side of that stat is that if the Cubs do allow a fourth run (or more) in a game, they are just 3-19.

Putting aside those bigger picture numbers, we can zoom in on the game numbers for the Cubs. 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 48, May 26: Cubs 4, Pirates 1 (26-22)

Source: FanGraphs


  • Superhero: Trevor Williams (.229). 6IP (20 batters faced), 3H, 0BB,1R, 7K (W 3-2)
  • Hero: David Bote (.141). 1-3 (HR 4), 2RBI, R, BB, K, CS
  • Sidekick: Kris Bryant (.087). 3-5, 2RBI


  • Billy Goat: Joc Pederson (-.080). 0-5
  • Goat: Willson Contreras (-.075). 0-3, BB, K, DP
  • Kid: Javier Baez (-.038). 1-5, 2K

WPA Play of the Game: David Bote batted with a runner on first and no outs in a scoreless game in the second inning. He hit his fourth homer of the year, giving the Cubs an early two-run lead. (.169)

*Pirates Play of the Game: Ben Gamel tripled leading off the bottom of the first for the Pirates. (.069)


Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Trevor Williams
    (115 votes)
  • 4%
    David Bote
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Kris Bryant
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Rafael Ortega (1-3, BB, R)
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (1 vote)
129 votes total Vote Now

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

  • Kris Bryant +16
  • Craig Kimbrel +13
  • Keegan Thompson +9.5
  • Zach Davies/David Bote -9
  • Javier Baez -13

Up Next: The third and final game of the series between the two clubs Thursday morning/afternoon in Pittsburgh. Kyle Hendricks will make the start. Kyle is just 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA on the season so far. He’s been much better in May, though. So far, in four May starts, he has a 2.36 ERA in 26⅔ innings, striking out 21 over that time and walking three. If he can keep that kind of performance going, the Cubs should be able to complete a sweep.