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2022 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Games 90 & 91

Two more games, two more losses for the Cubs

Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

Cubs pitching was pretty good on Saturday across two games. The official line shows only two earned runs across 21 innings of work. That’s getting it done. particularly against a division leading team. The only real blemish was Mychal Givens, who has otherwise been fairly reliable this season. On Saturday, however, he faced seven batters, allowed two hits, a walk, a hit batter and was charged with three unearned runs (thanks to bonus runners). He gets the dubious distinction of tying an MLB record that will almost certainly never be broken. He lost both ends of a doubleheader. Further, he is the first in over 100 years to accomplish the feat without allowing an earned run.

The bad news was the offense. The offense had two modes on Saturday, bad and frustrating. In the first game, they managed five hits, three walks and a hit batter in 11 innings. In the second game, they did put together 10 hits and three walks, but they only put together three runs, including a run in the 10th. That was a bit before a game ending double play with the bases loaded. Frustrating indeed.

Where do we go from here? This is now nine consecutive losses. The team has played competitively in seven of the nine games, but there is no prize for close games and moral victories don’t count in the standings. I’ve said my piece about David Ross. I think at some point, he has to be at least one of the scapegoats for the losing, particularly in all of these close games.

That said, I’ve heard what Al has written and many of you have commented. Certainly, it does ring true that this team loses over and over again, particularly in close games, because it’s undermanned. It started out that way from the opening bell and a bevy of injuries have done nothing to help it. Of course, over the long haul of a baseball season, injuries happen. But the failure to have really any depth at all has hung on this team like an albatross throughout.

Regardless, heading into the final game before the All-Star game, this team is 23 games under .500 and is on pace to lose over 100 games. It’s amazing how fast optimism can be sapped away. The reality is, 57 losses have already been baked into the cake that is the 2022 season. The math is starting to be one of many foes. With 71 games to play, the Cubs can only lose 42 games to avoid the century mark. A 29-42 record over the final 71 games would be a .408 winning percentage. That doesn’t yet feel completely insane, though clearly that would be a dramatic improvement for this team at some point.

I know it is beating a dead horse, but even when trying to be optimistic, you have to weigh two factors that will drag on success. First, there will be trades from the roster. Second, there will surely be some players who will get shutdown for workload and/or injury purposes. The already thin depth will be further tested. The team has already had to use players from Double-A who were selected largely because they were on the roster and not in any way because they had finished their development process. There is a chance this gets really ugly before it starts getting better.

The only good news on this day is that I get to look at two games to select my three positives. As has been the case, I’m going to continue to lean towards selecting players who I expect to be a part of the 2023 Cubs and hopefully beyond.

  1. Marcus Stroman faced 17 batters, allowing only one hit and two walks. He was rather unfortunate sequencing-wise to allow a run with numbers like that.
  2. Seiya Suzuki had three hits in game two and four on the day. None were for extra bases, but three hits in a game is always a feat.
  3. Scott Effross faced four batters across the two games and retired them all. He struck out the side in his inning in game two.

With that done, we’ve got a lot of Heroes and Goats to cover, so let’s get right to it.

Game 90, July 16: Mets 2 at Cubs 1 (34-46)


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


  • Superhero: David Robertson (.452). 2IP (7 batters), BB, 3K

*David notches the fourth highest WPA game score of the year by a Cub, he also owns the third highest.

  • Hero: Rowan Wick (.165). 1⅔ IP (7 batters), H, BB, 2K
  • Sidekick: Nelson Velazquez (.121). 0-0, SB


  • Billy Goat: Rafael Ortega (-.304). 0-4, BB, 3K, DP
  • Goat: Ian Happ (-.283). 0-5, K
  • Kid: Christopher Morel (-.271). 1-4, DP, SB

WPA Play of the Game: With one out and a runner on third, Adam Ottavino struck out P.J. Higgins. (.200)

*Cubs Play of the Game: With runners on first and second and no outs in the tenth inning, David Robertson struck out Tomas Nido to maintain the 1-1 tie. (.127)


Who was the Cubs Player of Game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    David Robertson
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    Rowan Wick
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Nelson Velazquez
    (0 votes)
  • 42%
    Marcus Stroman (4 2⁄3 IP, 17 batters, H, 2BB, R, 6K)
    (20 votes)
  • 4%
    Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
    (2 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

Game 91, July 16: Mets 4 at Cubs 3 (34-47)


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


  • Superhero: Seiya Suzuki (.297). 3-5, SB, K
  • Hero: Anderson Espinoza (.234). 2⅔ IP (10 batters), H, 2BB, 2K

*Espinoza is the 44th different Cub to appear in Heroes and Goats prior to the All-Star break.

  • Sidekick: Yan Gomes (.225). 2-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI


  • Billy Goat: Frank Schwindel (-.568). 1-5, 2B, R, 2K, DP

*Frank produces the second largest negative WPA score of the year by a Cub. He is one of only two offensive players in the bottom 10.

  • Goat: Daniel Norris (-.163). ⅓ IP (2 batters), BB
  • Kid: Mychal Givens (-.135). ⅔ IP (4 batters), H, BB, 2R (0ER), HBP (L 5-2)

WPA Play of the Game: Frank Schwindel grounded into a game ending double play with the bases loaded and one out, the Cubs down one in the 11th inning. (.539)

*Cubs Play of the Game: Seiya Suzuki singled with one out and a runner at first, the Cubs trailing by one in the 10th. (.250)


Who was the Cubs Player of Game 2?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Seiya Suzuki
    (24 votes)
  • 21%
    Anderson Espinoza
    (9 votes)
  • 19%
    Yan Gomes
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
    (1 vote)
42 votes total Vote Now

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

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.

  • David Robertson +17.5
  • Christopher Morel +17
  • Scott Effross/Nico Hoerner +15
  • Seiya Suzuki +11.5
  • Kyle Hendricks/Matt Swarmer -7
  • Andrelton Simmons -8
  • Daniel Norris -9.5
  • Jason Heyward -15.5
  • Yan Gomes -16

*Note that I went through my database and found a couple of typos that were effecting values. They are corrected now and there was a minor tweak of the overall standings.

Up Next: These two teams play a fourth and final game before the All-Star break. Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.33) starts for the Cubs. David Peterson (5-2, 3.48) starts for the Mets. The Cubs will try to avoid taking a 10-game losing streak into the break.