If you are like me, Tuesday night’s game was well past your bedtime and you didn’t see any of it. But from reading the recap and watching the highlights, it was a game that had just about everything a Cub fan could want (other than maybe a half dozen or so more healthy players) to see. Heading into a matchup with Yu Darvish today, this game was exactly what the doctor ordered. There are no “must win” games until the end of the season when if you lose your season is over. But there are definitely some “boy, it sure would be nice to get a win here” games along the way.
This was one of those days. After a dazzling month of May, you just didn’t want to see a one-win trip west. They’ve now got at least two and that allows you to dream on getting a third win. After watching him pitch for a couple of years, we know how difficult facing Darvish can be. But, even the best have off days, not to mention that we’ve seen Jake Arrieta show flashes of the pitcher he once was on occasion this year.
But that’s an awful lot about today’s game in a piece that is largely about yesterday’s. Zach Davies was terrific, allowing one hit and two walks over six innings. The offense saw three homers, each with some significance. The first was Willson Contreras. That got the Cubs on the board early and with Dinelson Lamet also looking good early for the Padres, that was the only run for either team until the sixth inning. In the sixth, the Cubs offense sprung to life against Lamet, who was pitching into the sixth inning for the first time after being limited to four innings all year. That sixth inning saw the Cubs plate four runs. The highlights were a two-run double by Anthony Rizzo who is heating up and capped by a two-run homer by none other than Patrick Wisdom. Wisdom is setting all kinds of milestones for homers with a new club.
The third and final homer was by Rizzo. It was his first in well over a month. He drove in four overall. That was a welcome sight. His bat really keys the Cubs lineup, so it is no surprise that it was right in the middle of a big offensive night for the team. Kris Bryant is the one certainly capable of the flashiest offensive numbers, but it’s Rizzo who really balances the lineup out with his big bat from the lefty side. Also, his ability to get the ball into play tends to make things happen.
A well-balanced, much needed win. That’s always the most fun to recap. Let’s get to the numbers and see how they stacked up. 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 61, June 8: Cubs 7 at Padres 1 (34-27)
- Superhero: Zach Davies (.308). 6IP (20 batters faced), H, 2BB, 0R, 4K (W 3-3)
- Hero: Anthony Rizzo (.147). 2-3, HR, 2B, HBP, 4RBI, 2R
- Sidekick: Willson Contreras (.111). 1-4, HR, RBI, R
- Billy Goat: Eric Sogard (-.053). 0-4, K, DP
- Goat: Sergio Alcantara (-.047). 0-4, 3K
- Kid: Rafael Ortega (-.002). 0-2
WPA Play of the Game: Anthony Rizzo batted in the sixth inning against a tiring Dinelson Lamet. There were runners on first and second and the score was 1-0 in favor of the Cubs. Anthony laced a double, driving in two runs and giving the Cubs some breathing room. (.141)
*Padres Play of the Game: Tommy Pham walked leading off the bottom of the first inning. (.036).
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Patrick Wisdom (1-4, HR, 2RBI)
Joc Pederson (2-5, 2B, 2R)
Up Next: I’ve been talking about it for two days: The Cubs face the former mate Yu Darvish today. The Cubs missed Yu in Chicago last week, but they didn’t miss him this time. Jake Arrieta gets the start for the Cubs. Jake has an 8.28 ERA over his last six starts after posting a 2.57 ERA over his first five. Jake will be looking to turn it around in a tough environment.