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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 55

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The Cubs complete a three-game sweep of the Padres with a 6-1 victory

MLB: San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, the Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres. Somehow, some way they now own sweeps of the Dodgers and Padres, two of the best teams in the league. They are nine games over .500. May’s euphoria has spilled over into June and they’ve started with wins in their first two games of the month. As a result of the sweep, they’ve now won nine of their last 10 games.

A few days ago in this space, I referenced the movie Major League. One of the recurring bits in that movie is cuts showing the fans and weighing in on their feelings on the team. I pointed out that I felt like we are at the point where most of the fans are all in, jumping on the bandwagon and generally going ham believing in the team. But there is one guy who says: “They are still lousy.” (TV edit) That leads me to wondering where people are.

When the Cubs were struggling early in the season many, including myself, were quick to buy that the sky was falling and that the day of reckoning was coming for the Cubs roster. It was easy to buy into an aging core, disappointment over players not be extended and a cheap front office. But how bought into this bounce are you all? I’m not all over Bleed Cubbie Blue these days, so I’m wondering where you readers are. On the scale of “I’m rearranging my October vacation plans for a deep playoff run” to “I’m not really able to enjoy this stretch because I just know Lucy is about to move that damn football again.”

So today I’m going to hit you with a double poll. But beyond the polls, weigh in below with where you are in regards to this team.

Poll

Where are you right now with your faith in these Cubs?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Something like a 10 - rearranging my October already
    (64 votes)
  • 60%
    More like a 5 or 6. - this has been fun, but they are still overmatched
    (149 votes)
  • 1%
    Less than 5 - That football is going to get pulled away any day now
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    Other
    (29 votes)
246 votes total Vote Now

Regardless of how high or how low you are with this team, the numbers never end, so let’s take a look at the numbers and what they looked like for Wednesday’s 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. We’ll quickly look at both games.

Game 55, June 2: Cubs 6, Padres 1 (32-23)


Source: FanGraphs

THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero: Anthony Rizzo (.267). 3-4, 2 2B, 2RBI, R
  • Hero: Adbert Alzolay (.138). 5IP (19 batters faced), 3H, BB, R, 7K (W 4-4)
  • Sidekick: Rafael Ortega (.114). 1-4, RBI, SB, K

THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat: P.J. Higgins (-.215). 1-4, K, DP
  • Goat: Ian Happ (-.086). 0-5, R, RBI, K
  • Kid: Javier Baez (-.074). 1-4, HR, 2RBI, R, 3K

WPA Play of the Game: As late as the fifth inning, this game was tied at one. That is, it was until Anthony Rizzo stepped to the plate. He batted with runners on first and second with one out. Rizzo doubled and two runs scored. It was all downhill after that for the Cubs. (.253)

*Padres Play of the Game: PJ Higgins batted with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fourth with the score tied at one. Higgins sent a popup towards left field. Two Padres, Tommy Pham and He-Seong Kim, collided and the go-ahead run seemingly scurried home. But the ball was never caught and that allowed the Padres to turn one of the weirdest double plays you’ll ever see. (.175)

Poll

Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Anthony Rizzo
    (124 votes)
  • 41%
    Adbert Alzolay
    (93 votes)
  • 0%
    Rafael Ortega
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Rex Brothers (IP, 3 batters faced, 2K)
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (3 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now

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

  • Kris Bryant/Craig Kimbrel +15
  • Adbert Alzolay +10
  • Ian Happ/David Bote -8
  • PJ Higgins -8.5
  • Javier Baez -11

Up Next: The Cubs head west to San Francisco for the first of four against the Giants. Zach Davies is scheduled for the first game. He had a 1.72 ERA in six May starts. That was good for trimming nearly five runs off his April ERA.