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2021 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 142

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... and then there were 20 ...

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll forgive me if I’m a little briefer than usual on this one. Been a bit of a long week at the Smith household. Couple that with a fairly predictable lopsided game, a quick turnaround to another day game, and now entering the final 20 games of 2021, that’s a good recipe for some quick hitter points and then hitting the numbers.

First and most obvious to me: Surely I’m more broken up about it than he is, but Kyle Hendricks predictably came up short again on an effort to win number 15. Once the team went into “wait ‘til next year” mode, it was pretty obvious that anywhere near 20 was a pipe dream. I’m a little disappointed he might not even end up with 15. Hopefully, they pull it together and get him another win or two. I know I’m widely in the majority, but I still don’t think it means nothing. I’d really like to have seen him at least match his career high of 16. He still might, but the odds are increasing rapidly.

Trevor Megill. The guy sometimes looks like a world beater. And sometimes, he can’t get anybody out. The talent is clearly there. It’s a different set of problems, but this reminds me of Dillon Maples. You get so tantalized by the good outings that you are almost certainly going to hold onto him until you absolutely have to let him go.

Tommy Nance. I’m not going to lie, I forgot about him a bit. But in a down year, all you are left with is the good stories. Nance was one of them. He should have at least earned an invite to spring training. That’s not nothing.

Frank Schwindel. The rest of the team was hitless in this game. But Frank “the Tank” had two more hits including a homer. I talked the other day about how a couple of these competitive teams fighting for a playoff spot were going to have scouted him. And, indeed the Reds held him off the board Saturday and Sunday. But here are the Giants getting victimized by him again. Of course, the Giants have very different concerns. They are absolutely in the playoffs, they are just stuck in a tight race for the best record in the NL and/or the first wildcard spot. I am totally not a fan of uncoupling the playoff seeding from division standings, but that doesn’t make this feel any less unjust. One of these two very fine teams is going to be in a one-game playoff while the other one has home field throughout. I can simultaneously hate that and not think it should be changed.

The Giants allowed two hits. I needed to say that again. Not bad for a bullpen game.

Speaking of that NL West race, this also amuses me. The Cubs won four of six from the Diamondbacks, split six with the Rockies, won four of seven from the Dodgers, took five of six from the Padres and have only won one of five from the Giants. If the Giants sweep this series, then just looking at head-to-head against the Cubs, the Giants will have gained three games in the standings on the Dodgers (and 5½ from the Padres). That’s a fairly large “if” scenario. We’ll see how it plays out. But the difference between the Giants and the Dodgers figures to be less than that. Of course, there are a ton of other factors, but in its own way that influenced the race in the West.

One last note: If I were doing the podium for the Giants for this game, old pals Tommy La Stella and Kris Bryant would be the Billy Goat and the Goat.

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 142, September 10: Giants 6 at Cubs 1 (65-77)


Source: FanGraphs

THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero: Kyle Hendricks (.195). 6IP, 23 batters faced, 4H, 2BB, 1R, 4K
  • Hero: Frank Schwindel (.140). 2-3, HR (11), BB, RBI, R
  • Sidekick: Tommy Nance (.001). IP, 3 batters faced, K

THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat: Trevor Megill (-.376). 0IP, 4 batters faced, 3H, BB, WP (L 1-1)
  • Goat: Patrick Wisdom (-.087). 0-3, K, DP
  • Kid: Rafael Ortega (-.085). 0-4, 3K

WPA Play of the Game: Evan Longoria batted with a runner at first and no outs against Trevor Megill in a tie game in the seventh inning. His two-run homer was the game-winner. (.261)

*Cubs Play of the Game: Frank Schwindel led off the fourth inning with a solo homer to give the Cubs the 1-0 lead. (.128)

Poll

Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Kyle Hendricks
    (72 votes)
  • 16%
    Frank Schwindel
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Tommy Nance
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Other
    (2 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 5/Bottom 5)

  • Kris Bryant +26
  • Frank Schwindel +26 (+2)
  • Craig Kimbrel +20
  • Patrick Wisdom +15 (-2)
  • Rafael Ortega +14 (-1)
  • *PJ Higgins -9.5
  • Rex Brothers -11.5
  • David Bote -12
  • Zach Davies -17
  • Jake Arrieta -19

Up Next: Game two of the three-game set. Zach Davies (6-10, 5.16) will start for the Cubs. He’ll face Kevin Gausman, (13-5, 2.58). This one looks like another Giants win on paper.