It was a fine day for me to have followed a Cubs game less than I have in quite a while. I’ve made no secret that I stopped watching them a long time ago. But I usually follow along while the game goes on via one app or another. It certainly helps to write about the ebbs and flows of the game if I know that they ebbed and flowed. Saturday’s game is a great example. A 17-13 game could take so many shapes. One might think there was a seesaw battle. Things going back and forth. Instead, Friday’s game had an odd “shape” with the Cubs scoring the early runs and also the late runs, but the White Sox pouring on the runs in the middle.
This was a wacky Sunday for me to say the least. My day consisted of writing about Saturday’s game, eating donuts, loading a moving van, doing a walk through on the house we are closing on tomorrow, a family member having a nasty bout of foodborne illness (complete with an ER trip) and then writing about Sunday’s game. Phew. What a whirlwind. The good news: We are moving into a permanent home after staying for 93 days in a condo belonging to a relative of our family. We’re really happy with the home we are buying and the location it is in. We are even more happy to be leaving the condo, which was an absolute God-send. This summer would have been incalculably expensive if it weren’t for the immense generosity of a relative. But, this space is about one-third too small for our needs and it’s been claustrophobic. At various times we had as many as five family members in this condo along with our three cats. It’s just too cramped.
Back to baseball and not my life story. To be fair, a Cubs fan living in Tampa is probably more interesting than the baseball game played on Sunday. But, I’ll do you all a favor and try to stick (almost) entirely about baseball. The Cubs played. The Cubs lost. None of this is particularly new. Former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease was dominant. Will that wound ever heal? I really always appreciated Jose Quintana, but I’d be hard pressed to say that the deal worked out in any real way. I thought it was an overpay at the time they made it, but I understood why the Cubs did it. It absolutely helped them that year. I suspect if the Cubs had made it back to the World Series, that whole experience would be viewed differently.
On the flip side, Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks got knocked around again. I wish the Cubs had enough arms to just shut him down for the year soon. He’s thrown a lot of innings the last 5-plus years. I’m sure he’s fine and I have no doubt he’ll get back to where he was in 2022. But, a little extra rest really never hurt anyone.
The Cubs offense mustered a grand total of five hits and two walks. They scored one run, but it would be overkill to say that they turned five hits and two walks into one run because the one run was a solo homer. The offense wasn’t good. This is about what happens when a largely Triple-A lineup runs into a good team.
The scoring isn’t all pinned on Hendricks. He was indeed charged for eight of the runs. But five different Cubs pitched at least one inning and only one threw a clean inning. Now that we are having our first full season without vastly expanded September rosters, I can solidify a thought. I dislike not expanding the rosters a bit more with a bad team. This would be a great time to get some auditions for some extra minor league players. A beat up pitching staff leaves a lot of innings for the bullpen to cover and it would be nice to have a few extra arms out there.
This is definitely one of those games that screams for turning the page. So let’s get to the numbers. s 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 132, August 29: White Sox 13, Cubs 1 (57-75)
- Superhero: Alfonso Rivas, III (.098). 2-3, 2B
- Hero: Frank Schwindel (.031). 1-4, HR (5), RBI, R, 2K
- Sidekick: Patrick Wisdom (.020). 0-3, BB, 3K
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.308). 4⅔ IP, 22 batters faced, 7H, 2BB, 8R, 4K (L 14-6)
- Goat: Rafael Ortega (-.086). 1-4, 2B, K
- Kid: Sergio Alcantara (-.080). 0-2, 2K
WPA Play of the Game: Brian Goodwin batted with two outs and a runner on first in the second inning, the White Sox leading by one. He hit a two-run homer. (.169)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Frank Schwindel hit a solo homer leading off the fourth inning. At that point the Cubs were only down three. (.085)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Alfonso Rivas, III
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 5/Bottom 5)
- Kris Bryant +26
- Patrick Wisdom +21 (+1)
- Craig Kimbrel +20
- Rafael Ortega +17 (-2)
- *Nico Hoerner +12
- Frank Schwindel +12 (+2)
- *PJ Higgins/Rex Brother -9.5
- *David Bote/Ian Happ -12
- Zach Davies -14
- Jake Arrieta -19
Up Next: The Cubs have an off day Monday, then continue with interleague play with the first of two games against the Twins in Minnesota Tuesday. Zach Davies (6-10, 5.00) is slated to open the series. He’ll face John Gant (4-8, 4.00).