Certainly, on a day like Sunday when Rafael Ortega was having the absolute game of his life, you think that this season isn’t totally miserable for everyone involved with the Cubs. For Ortega, he is for the first time getting a chance to play and to show what he can do at the major league level. Is he a guy who is going to be a star? No. But is he a guy who can maybe contribute to a team? It seems like that answer is yes. Granted, we are still in a pretty small sample size for him.
But, there is another guy who is having an even more extended look at the major league level for the fist time. I am, of course, talking about Patrick Wisdom. Patrick was once a bit of a heralded prospect, but he never really got his chance for any extended period until this year. But boy, has he made the most of it this year. With three hits and three RBI last night, he now has a line of .278/.342/.585 with 16 homers and 32 RBI. That’s good for a 144 wRC+. This comes in 194 plate appearances. So we’re beyond small sample size at least.
We are talking about a guy who is going to receive Rookie of the Year votes. Certainly on a team well out of contention, he doesn’t have a compelling narrative like some of the other players have. He also got a late start and doesn’t have quite the volume of work that some of the others do. But, he leads all NL rookies in homers and OPS.
Surely, this is all bittersweet. No one wants to have their big moment come in a vacuum. Surely, he’d have loved for the Cubs hot streak of May to have rolled right on through the season, just with him being a part of it. What’s better than dreaming of being a big league star? Dreaming of being a big league star on a winning team.You can’t always get what you want, but this is the season he needed for sure.
As much as I loved Kris Bryant, a player who was basically groomed his whole life for success and then just burst onto the scene as a star, I’m a sucker for the guys who is was harder for. We’ve gotten so many of them in recent years. Guys like Dillon Maples and Tommy Nance and Patrick Wisdom. People who fought through so much adversity. Guys who had people around them wondering if it was time to move on from this dream. In some instances, guys who themselves thought it was time to move on and had to be talked out of it. What tremendous joy and gratification has to come from finally standing out on the field and having real, honest to goodness major league success.
Let’s go to the numbers from last night’s game. 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 109, August 4: Cubs 3, Rockies 2 (52-57)
- Superhero: Patrick Wisdom (.325). 3-4, 2B, 3RBI
- Hero: Manny Rodriguez (.250). IP (4 batters faced), H, K (SV 1)
- Sidekick: Alec Mills (.188). 6IP (25 batters faced), 8H, 2BB, 2R, 3K, WP (W 5-4)
- Billy Goat: Sergio Alcantara (-.153). 0-4
- Goat: Johneshwy Fargas (-.098). 2-4, K, CS
- Kid: Rafael Ortega (-.069). 1-5, R, 3K
*This is the eighth consecutive day for Oretega on one of the podiums (2 Superhero, Hero, 2 Sidekick, Goat, 2 Kid)
WPA Play of the Game: Patrick Wisdom batted with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, the Cubs trailing by two. Patrick did not let the scoring opportunity go to waste. He launched one deep that didn’t quite get out of the park, but it was enough to score three and give the Cubs the lead. (.290)
*Rockies Play of the Game: Brendan Rodgers led off the eighth inning with a single with the Rockies trailing by one against Codi Heuer. (.093)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Adam Morgan (IP, 3 batters, K)
Codi Heuer (IP, 3 batters, H)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Kris Bryant +26
- Craig Kimbrel +20
- Patrick Wisdom +18
- Rex Brothers -13.5
- Jake Arrieta -14
- Ian Happ -17
Up Next: The third and final game of the series is this afternoon in Colorado. The Cubs will send Jake Arrieta to the mound. Jake is 5-10 with a 6.20 ERA. This season has largely been a nightmare for Jake, particularly on the road. He’ll face Antonio Sentzatela, who surely isn’t loving this year either. Anthony is 2-8 with a 4.58 ERA.