There was a time when going to this game in Miami was on my agenda. When the Cubs fell out of contention, trying to squeeze one more thing in with my daughter before she heads off to college became silly. I can’t imagine how conflicted I’d have been during an 11 run second inning for the Marlins. Obviously, for anyone who stayed, the rest of the game was somewhat amusing. If a game can be amusing after you go from up three to down eight in one inning. They were down 10 before their comeback started. They got six back, but still lost by four.
Three run leads are often safe in baseball. That is true regardless of talent differential or how early that lead is acquired. But this Cubs team that is on the field isn’t an ordinary team. This team was under manned at every moment since the trade deadline past. Then Willson Contreras got hurt. A team like the Astros or White Sox would be hard pressed to find more than a player or two they’d pick up off of this roster even if they could have them for free. Surely one of them would grab Kyle Hendricks. Kyle isn’t quite up to his own lofty standards this year, but he’s still capable of some pretty good games. When healthy, Willson Contreras would be a no brainer addition. After that, maybe a healthy Nico Hoerner as an infield defender off of the bench.
This team is in position to lose an awful lot of games between now and the end of the season. This is a team that was 42-33 after no hitting the Dodgers on June 24. Since that game, they are 10-33. That’s a whopping 38-win pace over a 162 game season. We are talking historically bad. To be fair, there is a little bit of fluke in those numbers. But, as a counter point They were still clinging to the .500 mark before the bulk of the trades happened July 30. They had just dipped below at 50-54 after the last game, July 29, before the deals were made. So from the no-hitter to the trade deadline they went 8-21. Since then they have lost 12 of 14. I’m not sure that the bad sequencing since the trade deadline (games against the Brewers and White Sox accounted for all of the home games and those are two of the best teams in baseball), outweighs the talent drain. Particularly with Contreras hurt.
It would have been blasphemous on June 24 to say this team might lose 100 games. Now, despite a relatively weak schedule remaining, it would be harder to imagine them not losing 100 games. Oddly, if they lose exactly 99 games and play all 162 games, we would be able to divide the season as such: That first 75 games with 33 losses, the next 43 games with 33 losses and then the final 44 games with 33 losses. Could they drop 33 of the last 44? It’s probably not likely, but then what, we are projecting 95? Fangraphs now have them at 92 losses. I’d bet the house on the over to that number. I just don’t see the bounce coming.
On these sobering thoughts, 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 118, August 13: Marlins 14, Cubs 10 (52-66)
- Superhero: David Bote (.195). 2-4, HR (7), 2RBI, R, K
- Hero: Johneshwy Fargas (.137). 2-5, 3B, RBI, R
- Sidekick: Ian Happ (.031). 1-3, HR (11), 2BB, 2RBI, 2R, 2K
- Billy Goat: Adbert Alzolay (-.489). 1⅓ IP (10 batters), 5H, BB, 6R, K, BK (L 4-13)
*This is the 6th worst WPA game score of the year for the Cubs and 3rd worst among starting pitchers
- Goat: Dan Winkler (-.319). 0IP (7 batters faced), 4H, 2BB, 6R, 2HBP
- Kid: Patrick Wisdom (-.063). 0-6, 4K
WPA Play of the Game: Bryan De La Cruz came to the plate with one out in the first inning and the Marlins down three. With one swing, he took a negative and made it a positive. (.247)
*Cubs Play of the Game: David Bote batted with one out and a man on first in the first. The game was scoreless until he batted. But he made it 2-0 Cubs. (.182)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Frank Schwindel (3-5, HR, 2B, BB, 2RBI, 2R)
Robinson Chirinos (4-6, HR, 2-2B, RBI, 2R)
Manny Rodriguez/Rowan Wick (IP each, 3 batters each)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 5/Bottom 5)
- Kris Bryant +26
- Rafael Ortega +21
- Craig Kimbrel +20
- Patrick Wisdom +14 (-1)
- *Nico Hoerner +12
- Zach Davies -9
- *PJ Higgins -9.5
- Rex Brothers -11.5
- Jake Arrieta -19
- Ian Happ -23 (-1)
Up Next: Game two of the three-game set will feature Zach Davies (6-9, 5.26) against Zach Thompson (2-5, 3.09). This doesn’t look like a matchup that gives the Cubs any advantage.