Boy, am I glad I didn’t decide to stay up and watch all of Thursday night’s game. I had become someone who didn’t watch a lot of West Coast baseball already. Now with the move, if I see any of it, it’s bonus. And bonus it was. I watched to see Zach Davies valiantly trying to slog through his work last night, despite what appeared to be some trouble spotting his pitches and yet another home plate umpire with a moving strike zone. Certainly not going to argue that the umpiring was unfair or anything, but during the inning I watched closest, I feel like I saw multiple obvious balls called strikes and obvious strikes called balls. Some of these umpires are really terrible.
I also saw the long Joc Pederson homer. Man, can that guy crush a baseball. With Joc, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, the Cubs have some guys who can hit some absolute bombs. That Joc homer was particularly impressive to me. that pitch was in on his hands a bit. There’s no way that ball was barreled and he still crushed it.
This one felt to me like the Cubs wandered into someone else’s story. The Giants are playing the part of Cinderella in the NL West and jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Pederson’s homer then gave the Cubs a short lived 2-1 lead. Alas, the Giants flipped a lot of recent scripts in Cubs games and just kept adding on runs until this became a rather unsightly 7-2 loss. In a vacuum, the Cubs have now had their hand in a full two-game swing in the NL West. That comes by way of a 3-0 record against each of the second- and third-place Dodgers and Padres and an 0-1 record against the first-place Giants.
I’m turning the page on this one and hoping that this more speed bump than the start of a reversal of fortunes. So let’s get to 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 56, June 3: Giants 7, Cubs 2 (32-24)
- Superhero: Joc Pederson (.152). 1-4, HR (5), 2RBI, R, 2K
- Hero: Sergio Alcantara (.019). 1-3, K
- Sidekick: Kris Bryant (.009). 1-4, 2B, K
- Billy Goat: Rex Brothers (-.255). 1⅓ IP (6 batters faced), H, BB, R, 2K
- Goat: Zach Davies (-.101). 4⅓ IP (22 batters faced), 8H, 2BB, 4R, 4K (L 2-3)
- Kid: Anthony Rizzo (-.076). 0-4
WPA Play of the Game: Rex Brothers ends up in the Billy Goat spot despite allowing only one hit and one run. That’s because he came in with two on and one out in the fifth inning to face Brandon Crawford. Crawford took Brothers deep and a 2-2 game became a 5-2 Giants lead. (.273)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Joc Pederson’s one-out, two-run homer in the third inning gave the Cubs the 2-1 lead. (.197)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Kris Bryant +16
- Craig Kimbrel +15
- Adbert Alzolay +10
- Zach Davies/Ian Happ/David Bote -8
- PJ Higgins -8.5
- Javier Baez -11
Up Next: Game two of a four-game set Friday night in San Francisco. Jake Arrieta is slated to make the start for the Cubs. Jake has both been bad on the road (5.68 road ERA) and over his last five starts (6.65). That doesn’t look good on paper, to say the least. Hopefully, the Cubs bats will get it going Friday night.