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2022 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 45

The Cubs take an early lead and hold it.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve long felt that both the Cubs and the White Sox have more important fish to fry than one another. I think some fans, particularly casual ones, worry about the other more than they should. I’m, of course, referring to a Cubs fan worrying about who the Sox are playing and rooting for them to lose and vice versa. That said, this is obviously not true when they are playing one another. So, unless you are rooting for the Cubs tanking for the first pick in next year’s draft, then Saturday night’s game was good news.

That is, the Cubs played well and they won. For me, the happy medium is actually what happened in this one. Keegan Thompson got the start with Wade Miley experiencing some shoulder discomfort. The future is never certain. A player can rise to the top overnight or an injury or some mechanical issues can derail a career in a hurry. That said, for the near term, Keegan looks like one of the key pieces. He’s been nothing shy of fantastic so far this year and so watching him succeed against a talented team like the White Sox is a good thing.

As an added plus, Nico Hoerner, another guy who looks to be a key piece of the near term puzzle for the Cubs had three hits. Every now and then I steal my three positives up here in the open and to be sure, Keegan and Nico are definitely positives from this game.

Speaking of those three positives, let’s turn our attention there.

  1. Key performances from young players. Let’s combine our open here, three hits, a stolen base a run scored for Hoerner and five innings of one run ball for Thompson.
  2. Important contributions from last year’s stars. Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel were two of the three players who were most productive down the stretch in 2021. Each had a pair of RBI on Saturday night.
  3. A perfect inning out of the pen. Mychal Givens had one of those. Mychael has a 3.12 ERA over 17⅓ innings. This was the fifth perfect outing of the year for him. In 18 outings for Givens this year, 14 of them are scoreless.

And now, we turn our attention to the Heroes and Goats from Saturday’s win on the south side.

Game 45, May 28: Cubs 5 at White Sox 1 (19-26)

Fangraphs

Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.

THREE HEROES:

  • Superhero: Keegan Thompson (.150). 5IP (20 batters), 5H, BB, R, 4K (W 5-0)
  • Hero: Frank Schwindel (.133). 2-4, 2RBI
  • Sidekick: Patrick Wisdom (.099). 1-4, 2B, 2RBI, R, SB, K

THREE GOATS:

  • Billy Goat: Alfonso Rivas (-.057). 0-4, K
  • Goat: Ian Happ (-.048). 0-4, BB, K
  • Kid: Willson Contreras (-.036). 1-5, 2B, R

WPA Play of the Game: Patrick Wisdom faced Johnny Cueto in a scoreless game with one out and a runner on second. Wisdom doubled and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. (.107)

*White Sox Play of the Game: Jake Burger batted with one out in the fifth, the Cubs leading 3-0. Burger homered, providing the only run of the game for the Sox. (.090)

Poll

Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Keegan Thompson
    (100 votes)
  • 4%
    Frank Schwindel
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Patrick Wisdom
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else (please leave your suggestion in the comments)
    (1 vote)
108 votes total Vote Now

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.

  • Nico Hoerner +12
  • Willson Contreras +11.5
  • Ian Happ +10
  • Patrick Wisdom -8.5
  • Kyle Hendricks -9
  • Jason Heyward -11.5

Up Next: The second and final game of the brief two game series on Sunday afternoon. Marcus Stroman (2-4, 4.71) will get the start for the Cubs. They’ll face former Cubs prospect Dylan Cease (4-2, 4.24). Dylan was considered by some as a Cy Young candidate in 2022. That’s maybe a season or two early, but I know I’m not the only one who wishes he was still hurling for the Cubs. This is a tough matchup on paper.