Heading into Saturday afternoon the Cubs were on a five-game winning streak. As with much of the year to date, the relief pitching was good. The biggest improvement was the starting pitching. In the five wins, the pitching staff allowed a total of 10 runs. Spoiler alert: if your team averages allowing two runs per game, you are going to win a lot of games.
On Saturday the pitchers continued their good run. That is, they allowed two runs. The big difference was an offensive outburst. The Cubs had scored 16 runs over the five games. Basically a little over three runs per game. So these were some close games.
On Saturday the Cubs scored 10. That’ll do wonders for your runs per game number. That also makes a season-high six game winning streak and the Cubs are now a season-high seven games over .500. The Cardinals have escaped a mini slump and accordingly have held on to first place. But, intuitively, six straight wins gains games on all of the teams in the league.
I feel like we’ve reached the point where in the movie Major League they had their first extended winning streak and we cut to their fans. Many of them had escaped their despair about their team and were showing some excitement, but one guy says (TV version) “they’re still lousy.” So let me say this to you out there, the one who is waiting for the shoe to drop, enjoy this ride. This has been a special run. We can’t know how long it will last. With all of the mounting injuries it could turn sideways in a hurry. But these runs don’t come along often. Enjoy it.
While we are enjoying the run, let’s pause and look at 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 51, May 29: Cubs 10, Reds 2
- SUPERHERO: Zach Davies (.208). 5IP (19 batters faced), 2H, 2BB, 1R, 3K
- HERO: Eric Sogard (.131). 1-3, BB, 2RBI, R, K
- SIDEKICK: David Bote (.106). 0-1, R
- BILLY GOAT: Rex Brothers (-.097). ⅓ IP (3 batters faced), 0H, 2BB, R, K
- GOAT: Keegan Thompson (-.067). ⅔ IP (3 batters faced), H, 0BB, 0R, K
- KID: Nick Martini (-.065). 0-1, K
WPA Play of the Game: Joc Pederson’s two-run single in the bottom of the sixth (.154).
*Reds Play of the Game: Tyler Stephenson hit a two-run double off Keegan Thompson in the top of the sixth, tying the game (.272).
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Joc Pederson (2-for-5, 2 RBI)
Willson Contreras (2-for-5, 2 R)
Ryan Tepera (IP, 2K)
Author’s note: The cumulative standings didn’t make it into this piece. I’m well into my move and lack a computer with WiFi so I’m writing this on a phone. Rest assured all of your favorite sections of this article will return in a day or two. Thank you as always for your understanding and support.
Up Next: The Cubs go for the series sweep of the Reds Sunday afternoon with Jake Arrieta on the mound.