The last two runs scored by the Cubs were scored on Ian Happ solo homers. I suppose I could concoct a scenario where that was a good thing. Unfortunately, in this instance, it’s only really a good thing for Ian. He had a nice start to the season over the first few weeks, but the power numbers had lagged a bit. He now has homered in each of his last two games and the result is an OPS of .943 and a wRC+ of 174. Though a very small sample size, Ian is playing at an All-Star level.
The bad news is that the Cubs offense has just two runs over that time period (11 innings) and actually even further back (17 innings). The Cubs have lost six of their last seven games and in those six losses, they’ve scored a total of 16 runs. That’s just a tad over two runs per game. That simply isn’t enough scoring to have much expectation of winning.
Short of Brennen Davis absolutely laying waste to the Pacific Coast League and earning an early promotion, any significant improvement in this team, particularly offensively, is going to have to come from inside that clubhouse.
My three positives from yesterday’s game:
- Ian Happ’s power surge (amplifying his hot start to 2022)
- Marcus Stroman had a bit of a bounceback after two rough starts. Three runs over six innings isn’t cause for a parade. But one of the runs was unearned and also, he didn’t walk anyone.
- Ethan Roberts faced three batters and struck them all out. Ethan may very well be heading back to Iowa after Sunday’s game when the rosters shrink. But this game will make it at least a little harder to do so.
Let’s turn our attention to the numbers from yesterday’s game, a 3-1 loss to the Braves.
Game 17, April 26: Braves 3, Cubs 1 (7-10)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Ian Happ (.161). 1-3, HR, RBI, R
- Hero: Ethan Roberts (.022). IP (3 batters), 3K
- Sidekick: Michael Rucker (.013). IP (3 batters)
- Billy Goat: Seiya Suzuki (-.209). 0-4, 2K, DP
- Goat: Marcus Stroman (-.105). 6IP (24 batters), 6H, 3R (2ER), 3K (L 0-2)
- Kid: Yan Gomes (-.093).
WPA Play of the Game: Travis Demeritte faced Marcus Stroman with one out in the fifth in a game tied at 1-1. Demeritte homered and that turned out to be the game winner. (.158)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Ian Happ faced Braves starter Max Fried leading off the third inning with the Cubs trailing 1-0. Happ hit a game tying homer. (.118)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Someone else (please leave your suggestion in the comments below)
Rizzo Award Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
The award is named for Anthony Rizzo, who finished first in this category three of the first four years it was in existence and four times overall. He also recorded the highest season total ever at +65.5. The point scale is three points for a Superhero down to negative three points for a Billy Goat.
- Ian Happ +13
- Seiya Suzuki +8.5
- Keegan Thompson +8
- Nick Madrigal/Marcus Stroman -7
- Jason Heyward -9
Up Next: Game 2 from Atlanta. Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1, 11.05 ERA) will make his third start for the Cubs. The Braves will start Charlie Morton (1-2, 6.32 ERA).