Different day, but largely the same story. At least offensively. After striking out 17 times Saturday and mustering only five hits, the Cubs bested each by one on Sunday. 16 strikeouts is certainly still too many. And six hits don’t win a whole lot of baseball games. In fairness, they did quantum leap forward with three runs as opposed to none on Saturday. Six hits and 16 strikeouts takes some pretty fortunate sequencing to get to three runs. But the Cubs did pull that off.
Three runs isn’t horrible, but the Cubs basically never had a chance in this one. The White Sox ambushed them for six runs in the first inning. At that point, with an offense that lacks any star power was never going to have any chance against a very good White Sox team. Incidentally, I’m not in Chicago. I’m wondering, are White Sox fans acting like they’ve won the World Series around town? Or have they finally grown up and recognized that they have a lot bigger fish to fry than the Cubs?
This is where we search for the positives. Four Cubs relievers threw seven innings of two-run ball. That’s pretty effective. Particularly effective was Jake Jewell, who faced the minimum six batters over two innings of work (despite walking a batter). Rafael Ortega had two of the team’s six hits. He is still looking like someone who makes sense to be on next year’s roster. I’m sure the three-homer game is going to distort his statistics for the season, but he seems like a guy who provides decent value while the Cubs are sorting things out.
Greg Deichmann had an RBI and Frank Schwindel had two. Obviously, the Cubs hope Deichmann is part of the near future for them. He’s not exactly lighting it up, but he’s had one hit in each of his two games in a Cubs uniform. He’s also only struck out once. Never, ever read anything into two games worth of stats. But, it’s a start, right? Your expectations here have to amount to getting him some time with the big league club this year and getting a nice chance to take a look at him before the end of the year. Then you can give him some things to focus on in the off season and pick it back up in Spring Training. Matt Duffy struck out three more times in four at bats. That injury completely derailed what had been a nice season to that point.
That’s about it from what was a largely forgettable game. 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 113, August 8: White Sox 9 at Cubs 3 (52-61)
- Superhero: Frank Schwindel (.048). 1-1, 2RBI
- Hero: Greg Deichmann (.033). 1-4, RBI, K
- Sidekick: Rafael Ortega (.030). 2-4, SB
- Billy Goat: Zach Davies (-.418). 2IP (14 batters faced), 7H, BB, 7R, 5K (L 6-9)
*How weird is that stat line? He faced 14 batters, half of them scored, most of the other half struck out)
- Goat: Matt Duffy (-.071). 0-4, 3K
- Kid: Ian Happ (-.048). 0-4, 2K
WPA Play of the Game: Eloy Jimenez batted with a runner on first and one out, the Cubs were already trailing by one. Eloy made it 3-0 with a home run. (.155)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Greg Deichmann singled with runners on first and second with two outs in the third inning and the Cubs down five. (.052)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Jake Jewell (2IP, 6 batters faced, walk, 2K)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 5/Bottom 5)
- Kris Bryant +26
- Craig Kimbrel +20
- Patrick Wisdom +14
- Nico Hoerner/Rafael Ortega +12
- Matt Duffy/PJ Higgins -9.5
- Rex Brothers -13.5
- Jake Arrieta -16
- Ian Happ -21
Up Next: This is the series the Cubs have had circled on their calendar since June. That was when the Brewers pulled the rug out from under the Cubs season. Ok, yeah. Probably not. A handful of these guys weren’t even here and let’s be clear the Cubs are going to be way overmatched by this Brewers team. Alec Mills is scheduled to start the first game of the series. Some of you may recall he threw a no hitter against the Brewers just last year. Alec is 5-4 with a 4.41 ERA. The Brewers will start Freddy Peralta. Peralta doesn’t get as much publicity as his rotation mates, but he’s putting together a very fine season. He is 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA.