On Saturday afternoon the Cubs managed five hits and two walks while striking out 17 times. To be fair, Carlos Rodon has been absolutely brilliant this season. That was on full display Saturday and it was pretty clear the Cubs were overmatched. Amazingly enough, newcomer Frank Schwindel didn’t strike out and neither did Matt Duffy. Adbert Alzolay was the only Cubs pitcher to get an at bat and he didn’t strike out. So the other six guys in the lineup struck out about three times each on average. That’s not optimal.
There are going to be days like this. Rebuilding, retooling, reloading, whatever you want to call it. It’s going to lead to some growing pains along the way. It just is what it is. You have to try to find the positives wherever you can. After Saturday’s game, there are just 50 more scheduled games in this Cubs season. For some, this season surely can’t end soon enough. It’s been a nightmarish season for guys like Jake Arrieta, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward.
Another guy who has had a rough season is David Bote. Bote had two hits on Saturday. It sure would be nice for him to find some decent level of production. Another guy who probably isn’t feeling great about this season is Adbert Alzolay. Adbert is 4-12 with a 4.71 ERA in his first full season in the majors. On Saturday, he only allowed two runs over 6⅔ innings against a very good team. He still hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs in a start this year. As rough as it has seemed he’s been at times, he largely hasn’t gotten blown out. There was really only one full out terrible night and that was in Los Angeles when he allowed six runs, four earned, over just three innings. He also allowed four runs over just three innings in San Diego. So he’s been effective at limiting damage.
No one is ever going to ask me my opinion on franchise-building. But for baseball, I think I’ll describe my style more like the Seattle Supersonics of the 1990s than the Bulls. That is, a team built on production up and down the roster. Rather than having a great player or two and then just placing supporting pieces around them, I want what Theo Epstein originally promised. That is, waves and waves of talent. You want every move the franchise makes to be adding talent up and down the roster. You don’t want to have to rely on even two or three or four guys to carry your team. To that end, count me in on not rushing this process. I understand that you don’t want to reverse the winning atmosphere that has been built at Wrigley Field by way of a long rebuild. But you do want to get it right. Too many high priced players ties up the finances. Too many players traded away made for empty years with no minor league talent infusion. Always be adding.
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 112, August 7: White Sox 4 at Cubs 0 (52-60)
- Superhero: David Bote (.133). 2-4, 2B, 2K
- Hero: Adbert Alzolay (.044). 6⅔ IP (26 batters faced), 6H, 2R, 7K (L 4-12)
- Sidekick: Dan Winkler (.028). ⅓ IP (1 batter faced)
- Billy Goat: Patrick Wisdom (-.179). 0-4, 2K
- Goat: Andrew Romine (-.116). 0-3, 3K
- Kid: Willson Contreras (-.107). 0-4, 4K
WPA Play of the Game: Yoan Moncada batted with runners on first and second with two outs in the first inning and the game scoreless. Moncada doubled, plating two. (.184)
*Cubs Play of the Game: David Bote batted with a runner on first and one out in the sixth, the Cubs trailing by two. He singled, moving the runner up 90 feet. (.096)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 5/Bottom 5)
- Kris Bryant +26
- Craig Kimbrel +20
- Patrick Wisdom +14
- Nico Hoerner +12
- Rafael Ortega +11
- Anthony Rizzo -8.5
- PJ Higgins -9.5
- Rex Brothers -13.5
- Jake Arrieta -16
- Ian Happ -20
Up Next: The third and final game of the set between the Crosstown Chicago teams. Zach Davies will start the finale for the Cubs. He is 6-8 with a 4.79 ERA. He’ll face former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease. Dylan is 8-6 with a 3.92 ERA. One more tough one on paper.