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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 59

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Cubs salvage a win in San Francisco

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, some way, we’ve entered the Patrick Wisdom Show. I didn’t even know such a thing could possibly exist. With all due respect to Patrick, if you weren’t his mother or maybe that one Little League coach who always sees the best in a young player, you could have expected what has happened with Wisdom this year with the Cubs. It goes beyond his four homers in 88 plate major league plate appearances prior to 2021. Sure, Patrick did have two minor league seasons in which he slugged 31 homers (each). But he had over 950 plate appearances across those two seasons. He has seven homers in 36 plate appearances this season. Just keeping the math simple, even a 360 plate appearance season would be a 70 homer pace.

We’ve seen these things happen in recent years with different teams and different players. It’s fun to be seeing it up close. I couldn’t be happier for a guy in his age-29 season, getting the longest look he’s ever gotten at the major league level. His previous high in major league plate appearances is 58. It’s hard to imagine he’ll blow right past that this year, even as this team starts to get healthy. With a barrage of Cubs injuries, he’s getting a chance. He’s doing everything possible with that chance.

Wisdom and his two homers were clearly the top story of this Sunday afternoon game. But, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Kyle Hendricks won his fifth straight start. He continues to not dominate the way we’ve seen him do so in the past. But it’s not like the Cubs are battering their opponents into submission right now. The games are generally low-scoring and close and Kyle has won five of them in a row. I understand why people don’t love the win stat, but it is rarely a fluke when a guy wins five in a row. There are some positive things starting to happen here.

The Cubs left San Francisco still occupying first place. If they can do that in San Diego, that’ll be a pretty big accomplishment. It’s early to be worrying about the standings, but you certainly don’t hate being on the right side of the ledger.

Before we can move on to San Diego, we have to wrap up San Francisco, so let’s go 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 59, June 6: Cubs 4 at Giants 3 (33-26)


Source: FanGraphs

THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero: Patrick Wisdom (.227). 2-4, 2HR (6,7), 3RBI, 2R, 2K
  • Hero: Craig Kimbrel (.187). IP (3 batters faced), 0H, 0BB, 0R, 2K (Sv 14)
  • Sidekick: Andrew Chafin (.135). IP (3 batters faced), H, 0BB, 0R, 0K

THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat: Jason Heyward (-.142). 0-4, K
  • Goat: Kris Bryant (-.078). 0-4, 2K
  • Kid: PJ Higgins (-.069). 0-4, 2K

WPA Play of the Game: With two outs and a runner on second in the fourth inning, Patrick Wisdom batted against Johnny Cueto. The Giants were leading 3-1. Wisdom hit the second of his two homers on the day and tied the game. (.217)

*Giants Play of the Game: LaMonte Wade Jr. hit a solo homer leading off the game. (.105)

Poll

Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Patrick Wisdom
    (223 votes)
  • 1%
    Craig Kimbrel
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Andrew Chafin
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Ian Happ (1-2, 2B, 2BB)
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Kyle Hendricks, hitter (1-3, 2B, R)
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now

Up Next: The Cubs’ West Coast trip moves to San Diego for three games with the Padres. Adbert Alzolay is scheduled to start the opener for the Cubs. Alzolay allowed one run in five innings last week at Wrigley Field against the Padres. Ryan Weathers starts for the Padres. The Cubs scored four runs in five innings against him last week. However, Weathers has only allowed four total runs across four starts in San Diego.