In a season where the Cubs are heading toward 90-plus losses, they’ve largely had a lot of fight in them. Even with the season waning, that’s still been the case more nights than not. I’m not going to say that the Cubs didn’t fight Friday night. But they didn’t put up much of a fight. I don’t doubt they’ll bounce back before this weekend is over and give the Cardinals some headaches.
One of the big reasons that the Cubs came up empty on Friday? Jordan Montgomery. We covered that pretty in depth the last time these two teams met when Jordan one-hit the Cubs. He wasn’t quite as dominant in the sequel. But he did throw six scoreless innings. That improves his career record to 4-0 in four starts against the Cubs with an 0.63 ERA. He’s held the Cubs to a .407 OPS in those games. Flat out domination. If Montgomery is going to be taking up residence in St. Louis, the Cubs are going to have figure him out.
The Cubs did put up seven hits and drew two walks, but they just couldn’t push any across. On the other side of the ledger, the Cubs used three pitchers and all of them allowed one or more runs. This was the kind of clunker that can happen when the reality is that you are just playing out the string and you are a bit overmatched on a given night.
We’re not going to dwell on this one too much, so let’s get to the three positive performances I’ve identified from Friday’s loss.
1 and 2: Nick Madrigal and Seiya Suzuki each had a pair of hits at the top of the lineup. That kind of performance is usually going to lead to runs, but not so much on Friday.
3: With not a lot to go with, I’ll take humor in the night of Yan Gomes. One hit in four at bats. Fairly pedestrian. But, he was credited with a stolen base. In a career that now has over 3,500 plate appearances, that was theft number six.
Now we turn our attention to the Heroes and Goats from Friday’s loss.
Game 132, September 2: Cardinals 8, Cubs 0 (56-76)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Superhero: Yan Gomes (.071). 1-4, SB
- Hero: Nick Madrigal (.021). 2-4, K
- Sidekick: Seiya Suzuki (.020). 2-4, K
- Billy Goat: Ian Happ (-.246). 0-4, K, DP
- Goat: Nico Hoerner (-.088). 0-4, K
- Kid: Franmil Reyes (-.079). 0-3, BB, K
WPA Play of the Game: With two outs in the first inning, Adrian Sampson faced Tyler O’Neill with runners on second and third. O’Neill singled and drove in the only two runs the Cardinals ended up needing. (.170)
*Cubs Play of the Game: It was only 3-0 in the seventh when Yan Gomes faced Jordan Montgomery with a runner on first. Gomes singled and brought the tying run to the plate with no outs. (.103)
Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?
This poll is closed
Somebody 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 +17.5
- Scott Effross +17
- Christopher Morel +15
- Patrick Wisdom +13.5
- Daniel Norris/Frank Schwindel/Rowan Wick -9.5
- Yan Gomes -12
- Jason Heyward -15.5
- Rafael Ortega -16.5
Up Next: Game two of the three-game set Saturday in St. Louis. Drew Smyly (5-7, 3.24) has had a very strong season, when healthy, for the Cubs. I’d certainly like for Smyly to get another season with the team as this team transitions to more of a contender. Smyly seems like just the right kind of guy to be a part of that transition.
Adam Wainwright (9-9, 3.09) starts for the Cardinals. This will be the 48th career start for Adam against the Cubs (along with nine relief appearances). Adam is 18-14 with a 3.78 ERA over 297⅓ innings.