2022 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 21
Saturday night’s game wasn’t quite a carbon copy of Friday’s. The Cubs limited the Brewers to just nine runs (after allowing 11 the night before). But the Cubs have now scored just one point in three straight games and four of five. Even if you put together a team of pitchers by taking free picks from the best pitchers of all time, all in their prime, you still wouldn’t be guaranteed a winning record scoring a single run per game. Including the six they scored in the only win in the last five, they’re averaging just two points per game. This is not enough to be competitive.
One of the things about baseball is that it can spin really fast. What is happening now is by no means permanent. But, at the moment, it’s hard to imagine what’s turning things around for this team. The upcoming schedule remains brutal. Players on the horizon who will return from injury are more likely to make nominal/incremental changes than anything significant. Iowa players who might be ready to take their chance anytime soon are also likely to be upgraded, if at all.
The hottest prospect from a talent/upside perspective is Brennen Davis. Brennen just got his feet wet. He’s not exactly wasting his league. There are two realities and the second prevails, in my opinion, by far over the first. The first is that Brennen plays a position that is one of the Cubs’ weakest. It will end up improving the position considerably and it could have a significant impact. But this second reality is that it still needs a lot of development. The Cubs should take their time and get it right. There is no reason to rush him to try to make the difference between third and fourth place.
Hopefully the proverbial worm turns soon for this team. Because things aren’t pretty right now.
Let’s take a look at three positives from Saturday’s game.
- Scott Effross pitched a perfect inning. There haven’t been a ton of those recently released from the Cubs pitchers. He threw a perfect fourth at a time when the game was only 4-1 and was at least theoretically still in question.
- The formation with two receivers. I wondered early on if David Ross would feel comfortable enough to play his two receivers. Yan Gomes is a decent substitute and Willson Contreras, when healthy, has a bat that plays, not just a good bat for a catcher. Gomes hit a solo homer for the Cubs’ lone run. Contreras had a pair of hits. Together, the duo accounted for half of the Cubs’ six hits and the only run.
- Patrick Wisdom. Patrick had a pair of hits including a double. He ends April with a line of .242/.311/.485 (wRC+ 127) and is worth bWAR of +0.4. With more defense at No. 3, the Cubs are getting decent value from the Wisdom. If you were making a shopping list, upgrading third base is way down on the priority list right now.
And now let’s turn our attention to the heroes and goats from last night’s game.
Thu 21, 30 April: Brewers 9, Cubs 1 (8-13)
Reminder: Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA scores and are in no way subjective.
- Super hero : Yan Gomes (.059). 1-3, HR, BB, RBI, R
- Hero: Scott Effross (.022). IP (3 hitters), K
- Boyfriend : Willson Contreras (.016). 2-3,K
- Goat: Justin Steele (-.262). 3IP (18 batters) 7H, BB, 4R (2 ER), 4K (L 1-3)
- Goat: Seiya Suzuki (-.084). 0-3, BB, K, DP
- Child: Michael Rucker (-.061). 2IP (11 batters), 2H, 2BB, 2R, 6K
Game WPA clearance: With a runner in the first inning and a strikeout in the first inning, the game was still scoreless when Christian Yelich took on Justin Steele. Yelich scored a single down the middle and when Michael Hermosillo misplayed the ball down the middle, the runners found themselves second and third, setting up the first two runs for the Brewers. (.084)
* Cubs Game of the Game: With two out in the top of the second inning, the Cubs trailed 3-0 and the bases were empty. Yan Gomes hit a home run off Brewers starter Eric Lauer.
Who was the Cubs player of the game?
Anyone else (leave a suggestion in the comments)
17 voices in total
Cumulative Rizzo Prize Ranking: (top 3/bottom 3)
The award is named after Anthony Rizzo, who has finished first in this category three of the first four years of its existence and four times overall. He also recorded the highest total of the season at +65.5. The point scale is three points for a superhero down to minus three points for a Billy Goat.
- Ian Happ +15
- Alphonse Rivas +10
- Scott Effros +9
- Nick Madrigal/Marcus Stroman/Kyle Hendricks-7
- Patrick Wisdom -8
- Jason Heyward-9
Following: The Cubs will be looking to salvage one game from their three-game trip to Milwaukee. The Cubs have already secured a losing road trip, having dropped four of the first five games with one remaining. Marcus Stroman had a nightmarish start to his Cub career (0-3, 6.98). The Cubs did pretty well against Corbin Burnes (1-0, 1.75) the first time they saw him, but he’s still a tall order. Stroman will likely need to be at his best if the Cubs are to have a chance at this one.