Friday’s game was a weird one. The first three innings, the Cubs offense was vacant while the Cardinals were getting out to a two-run lead. It seemed like this could be a low scoring Cardinals victory. Then, the Cubs broke through with a run in the fourth but the Cardinals answered with three more in the top of the fifth and led 5-1. But the Cubs wasted no time and with a little help from some shaky Cardinals defense, they cut the lead to just a single run by the end of the fifth.
At 5-4 through five innings, this no longer felt like a low-scoring affair. The question was, would the Cubs offense give their bullpen something to work with? The Cubs bullpen has been strong almost all season long. It wasn’t crazy to think that the pen would keep the Cardinals close. The sixth inning saw an epic at bat for Anthony Rizzo that ended with a game-tying homer.
Then in the seventh inning, Joc Pederson batted with a couple of men on and delivered the decisive blow, a two-run double. That would land him in the Superhero spot and also give him the WPA Play of the game as we’ll get to shortly. For good measure, the Cubs got a solo homer as an insurance run off the bat of Willson Contreras.
The Cardinals pitching staff has been swamped with injuries and now that is really starting to take its toll. The Cardinals, who led the division for much of May, are in full out freefall right now. At the same time, this Cubs team has bounced back from recent adversity. With injuries of their own mounting and a tough schedule, the Cubs dropped four of five to start a trip west. Heading into a series against one of the best teams in the league and with one of the best pitchers in baseball on tap in the final game of the trip, there appeared to be some chance that the Cubs would win only one game out west.
But that’s now how it happened. The Cubs pitching was lights-out in the final two games in San Diego, holding the Padres to just a single run in each of the last two games. Now they’ve returned home and their offense powered them to a third straight win. The entire situation has been turned upside down and now the Cubs have won four of five. Additionally, they now have Kyle Hendricks on the mound on Saturday. Kyle has a very good track record historically against the Cardinals and has beaten them during the current streak he is on which has seen him win six of his last seven starts.
The Cubs at least have a chance to really kick the Cardinals while they are down. No doubt the Cardinals will come off the mat swinging. But if the Cubs can stay hot, they can really put some pressure on these Cardinals within the division.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we will take a look at the numbers from Friday’s come from behind win. 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 63, June 10: Cubs 8, Cardinals 5 (36-27)
- Superhero: Joc Pederson (.269). 3-4, HR (8), 2B, 3RBI, R, CS
- Hero: Anthony Rizzo (.149). 1-4, HR (7), RBI, R
- Sidekick: Tommy Nance (.140). 2IP (6 batters faced), 0H, BB, 0R, 2K (W 1-0)
- Billy Goat: Kohl Stewart (-.261). 4IP (20 batters faced), 6H, 2BB, 5R, 3K
- Goat: Kris Bryant (-.111). 0-4, K
- Kid: Javier Baez (-.090). 0-4, 3K
WPA Play of the Game: Joc Pederson’s tie-breaking, two-run double in the seventh inning came with runners on first and third and one out. (.195)
*Cards Play of the Game: Dylan Carlson batted in the fifth inning with the Cardinals already winning 2-1, with runners on first and second and no outs. He doubled, driving in one and sending another run to third. (.127)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Jason Heyward (2-4, 2R)
Craig Kimbrel (IP, 3 batters faced, SV 16)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Craig Kimbrel 17
- Kris Bryant 15
- Patrick Wisdom 12
- Jason Heyward/Eric Sogard/PJ Higgins -9.5
- Javier Baez -10
Up Next: Game two of the three-game weekend set between the Cubs and Cardinals. The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound. Kyle has won five consecutive starts and is 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA over his last seven. The Cardinals counter with John Gant, who allowed seven runs in just four innings of work last time out. Gant actually has a fantastic looking 2.63 ERA on the season, but has walked a major league high 37 batters on the season, including nine in his last three games.