Heroes and Goats will be a little briefer than usual as today is my travel day home after a little over a week in Peoria. I’ll add another quick plug here. If any of you happen to find yourself in the Normal area, I highly recommend the experience of seeing the Normal CornBelters play. It’s a quaint venue and we had a good time at two different games this week.
As for the Cubs, they got steamrolled in the Bronx last night. I was out and didn’t look at my phone until it was already 6-0 and it wasn’t until someone pointed out the “historic” accomplishment later that I saw what had happened. I truly feel for Matt Swarmer. I’m sure he’s a good kid and he’d performed pretty well in his first two starts. But Saturday night, you kind of knew that he was going to have to take one for the team. After three innings of a Wade Miley rehab start gone bad, the bullpen essentially threw 10 innings. Of course, more than the 10 innings was the fact that basically everyone pitched.
To be fair, everyone pitched on at least two days rest with a rainout Wednesday and a scheduled off day Thursday. So everyone should have been well rested. It was interesting to me that with a short start, David Ross didn’t go to someone like Alec Mills on Friday to try to get some length. That was exactly how he used Keegan Thompson so effectively in April. Alec might not be Keegan, but one would think long reliever is the likely role on the team for Alec, particularly after having been stretched out to start in his rehab stint. Could it be that Alec was in consideration for the Sunday start? And if Kyle Hendricks can’t take one of the starts this weekend, shouldn’t he have gotten a retroactive injured list stint?
Sweating the details on a team that is going to threaten 100 losses is folly, but this team continues to mismanage its roster. Don’t even get me started on this team continuing to carry both a bat only utility player and a glove only shortstop. My only significant remaining hope for this season is that once it is out of any delusion of contention that it waste many, many less at bats on aging veterans.
With that, I’ll try to find three positives from Saturday’s drubbing.
- The Cubs managed only nine baserunners, five singles, a walk and a hit by pitch and two reached on error. I’m giving the first spot to Frank Schwindel. He had two singles, the first of which came when the game was only 1-0.
- Yan Gomes one-upped Frank, with two singles and a reach on error. The reach on error was in that same second inning when Schwindel singled. That marked the only time the Cubs got a runner as far as second. One could definitely quibble that Gomes should have gotten the top spot. But who quibbles about such things in an 8-0 loss?
- I’m putting Willson Contreras here. He was hit by a pitch for approximately the one millionth time in his career. He also drew a walk. The three people I’ve mentioned reached base a total of seven times. That’s a good game’s worth of production, even without the extra base hits. The whole rest of the team reached base two collective times.
With that, it’s time for Heroes and Goats from last night’s game.
Game 58, June 11: Yankees 8, Cubs 0 (23-35)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Yan Gomes (.059). 2-4
- Hero: Jason Heyward (.027). 0-3, K (reached on error)
- Sidekick: Frank Schwindel (.014). 2-4, K
- Billy Goat: Matt Swarmer (-.221). 5IP (22 batters), 7H, 6R, 4K (L 1-1)
- Goat: Nico Hoerner (-.073). 1-3
- Kid: Andrelton Simmons (-.072). 0-4
WPA Play of the Game: Giancarlo Stanton’s solo homer with one out in the fourth made it 2-0. (.110)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Jason Heyward reached on an error leading off the second inning with the Cubs trailing 1-0. (.044)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Matt Swarmer and Michael Rucker (for resetting the bullpen for Sunday’s game)
Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
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 +11
- David Robertson +9.5
- Christopher Morel +9
- Kyle Hendricks -9
- Patrick Wisdom -9.5
- Jason Heyward -11.5
Up Next: The third and final game of the series between the Cubs and Yankees. Keegan Thompson (6-1, 3.17) will start for the Cubs. Keegan will be looking to bounce back after getting battered in Baltimore on Tuesday. Jameson Taillon (6-1, 2.73) will start for the Yankees. On paper, this pitching matchup is outstanding. Of course, one of these teams is a World Series contender and one of them will have a top 10 (5?) pick in next year’s draft. Maybe Keegan can dominate and give the Cubs a chance of stealing one.