Well, how about that? So many times you look at a game and think, this one is going to go well. And all too often, your pitcher and/or lineup underachieve and their pitcher and/or lineup overachieves and the game isn’t anything like you expected.
Not this time. The Cubs looked like a pretty solid lock on paper. Keegan Thompson has tailed off a little bit lately, but has still been the Cu’ most consistent starter by a wide margin. He was good on Monday night, allowing only one run while needing only 23 batters to record 18 outs.
Offensively, the Cubs got homers from rookies Nelson Velázquez and Christopher Morel as they extended the woes of Anibal Sanchez who has now lost his first five starts of 2022 after sitting out the 2021 season. They even scored a run while old pal Steve Cishek was on the mound (though it was an inherited runner). The Nationals got two late runs after this one was largely out of reach.
All in all, a solid win and the Cubs have started this home stand with wins in three of their first four games, and they’ve now won six of their last seven at home.
Let’s get right to three positives from Monday’s win.
- Nelson Velazquez got the scoring started with a solo homer in the third and ended up with his first career three hit game.
- Christopher Morel had a pair of hits, one a homer, scored two and drove in two.
- Rowan Wick did allow a hit, but ended up facing only three batters in a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
Now we turn our attention to the Heroes and Goats from Monday’s win.
Game 108, August 8: Cubs 6, Nationals 3 (44-64)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Keegan Thompson (.231). 6IP (23 batters), 5H, R, 3K, HBP, WP (W 9-5)
- Hero: Christopher Morel (.117). 2-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R, K
- Sidekick: Nelson Velazquez (.110). 3-4, HR, RBI, R, K
- Billy Goat: Rafael Ortega (-.032). 0-4, BB, R, SB
- Goat: Seiya Suzuki (-.018). 1-3, SF. RBI, R, K
- Kid: Willson Contreras (-.011). 2-4, RBI, SB
WPA Play of the Game: Christopher Morel batted with a runner on first and no outs in the third inning, the Cubs up 1-0. He hit a two-run homer to extend the lead. (.139)
*Nationals Play of the Game: Luke Voit homered with one out in the sixth against Keegan Thompson, cutting the Cubs lead to 3-1. (.076)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
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 +22.5
- Nico Hoerner +20.5
- Scott Effross +17
- Christopher Morel +16
- Patrick Wisdom +10.5
- Daniel Norris/Frank Schwindel -9.5
- Yan Gomes -11
- Rafael Ortega -14.5
- Jason Heyward -15.5
*With the announcement that Jason Heyward has played his last game in a Cubs uniform, now five of the 10 players listed here are done for the season. Lurking just outside of the bottom five is Andrelton Simmons, another ex-Cub. With this move, there are target scores now at the top and bottom of the list.
Up Next: Marcus Stroman (3-5, 4.00) will look to continue his second-half surge. He’ll face Paolo Espino (0-4, 4.20), another Nationals starter without a win. The Cubs will look to stay hot at home against the worst team in baseball.