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2023 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 39

An ugly loss in Minnesota

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Sunday is a day game on a holiday, and Saturday was an ugly loss. There wasn’t a lot that went right on this one. So we’re going to move along past this one very quickly. Hopefully all of you are finding ways to thank the moms around you for all that they do. I wouldn’t be the man that I am without the hard work my mom did in the formative years or half the man that I am without all of the work my wife did polishing me up. I’ll forever be grateful for the three kids we raised together.

So we look for three positives out of this game. I’m not going to count either that it ended eventually or the faster pace of the game for helping this to go away faster. In an oddity, on a day that the Cubs offense didn’t get going, Tucker Barnhart had two hits, a walk, and drove in the lone run.

The other positive in this one was Seiya Suzuki. He had a double and a pair of walks. So this was pretty much upside down day. Guys who have struggled came through and most of the guys who have been regular contributors to what has been one of the league’s best offenses were silenced.

It’s a sign of how bad things were that both of the top two I’ve named had a strikeout. 14 Cubs struck out in all while they were managing six hits. They did draw seven walks though. 13 baserunners. They’ve got to do better than one run with that kind of output. The only time the Twins were retired without incident was the second inning. So there is nothing to be happy about with the pitching.

Last year I pledged to find three positives, so my third will be Christopher Morel. He had a single and scored the only Cubs run. This is now four straight games to start his MLB season with at least one hit and at least one run scored. He did strike out twice, but he continues to contribute to the offense.

Game 39, May 13: Twins 11, Cubs 1 (19-20)


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


  • Superhero: Seiya Suzuki (.090). 1-2, 2B, 2BB, K
  • Hero: Tucker Barnhart (.044). 2-3, BB, RBI, K
  • Sidekick: Nick Madrigal (.029). 1-5, K


  • Billy Goat: Hayden Wesneski (-.292). 5IP, 23 batters, 7H, BB, 7R, 5K (L 2-2)
  • Goat: Dansby Swanson (-.090). 0-4, K
  • Kid: Cody Bellinger (-.076). 0-5, 2K

WPA Play of the Game: Joey Gallo batted with runners on first and second with no outs in the third, the Twins up one. He homered, knocking in three runs and the rout was on. (.150)

*Cubs Play of the Game: Nick Madrigal batted with a runner on first and no outs in the third, the Cubs down one. He singled, putting runners on first and second. (.068)


Who was the Cubs Player of the Game?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Seiya Suzuki
    (24 votes)
  • 50%
    Tucker Barnhart
    (34 votes)
  • 2%
    Nick Madrigal
    (2 votes)
  • 11%
    Someone else (leave your suggestion in the comments)
    (8 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

Yesterday’s Winner: Drew Smyly (Superhero 27-11)

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.

  • Justin Steele +13
  • Marcus Stroman/Ian Happ +11
  • Mark Leiter Jr. +9.5
  • Drew Smyly/Keegan Thompson +4
  • Julian Merryweather -4.5
  • Michael Fulmer/Jameson Taillon -5
  • Nico Hoerner -6.5
  • Trey Mancini -8

Up Next: Each team will go for the series win on Sunday. The Cubs will turn to Marcus Stroman (2-3, 2.28, 47⅓ IP). Pitchers with 2.28 ERA over eight starts deserve to have more than two wins. Hopefully the Cubs can add to that total. Marcus has allowed five runs over 18⅓ innings in his last three starts, throwing at least six in each. Still he’s winless over that stretch.

The Twins have Louie Varland (0-0, 4.32, 16⅔ IP). Varland, a right handers was the Twins’ 15th round pick in 2019. He’s making his ninth career appearance and start. He has just one win to show for his efforts. Last time out, he faced the Padres and allowed one run over six innings of work, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out six. So he’s not going to back down from the Cubs lineup.