Cubs shutout for third time in four games; fifth time overall
There’s not a lot to say. The offense was a no-show again. The pitching got shelled. Again. These storylines are playing out nearly every single game. Arguably, the pitching might be in a better position if the offense was putting any kind of runs on the board. Of course, when you are buried more times than not within the first inning or two, it probably doesn’t provide a laser focus for your hitters.
Last week is looking more and more like a mirage with each passing day. Really, if we take the Mets series out of the mix, the Cubs are 7-14 against everyone else. That’s a 108-loss pace. Of course, you can’t just take three wins out of the sequence, no more than in other recent years you might want to take three losses out. Those games happened. They are part of the sequencing. But that one really good series sure is masking a lot of really bad baseball.
There are some bumps, bruises and injuries, but I just don’t think that’s enough to explain all that is wrong with the Cubs. I’d like to think the core of this team has too much pride to be tanking their way out of the city. But if this continues much longer, the Cubs will be one of the first teams in a position to begin selling assets. Recall that nearly the entire roster is on an expiring contract. The Cubs are already well on their way to resetting the luxury tax threshold. They increasingly look headed for a rebuild and would do much to assist that by trading some of these expiring contracts for younger talent.
Somehow, someway things just corrupted with this core and it just doesn’t appear that there is any way to get things back on track. At least not in any near term.
There’s not a lot to dwell on here, so we’ll just get to the numbers. As you’ll recall, the Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added) and are not in any way subjective. Many days WPA will not tell the story of what happened, but often it can give at least a glimpse to who rose to the occasion in a high-leverage moment or who didn’t get the job done in that moment. With that, let’s get to the results.
Game 24, April 27: Braves 10, Cubs 0 (10-14)
- Superhero: Matt Duffy (.024). 1-2, 2BB
- Hero: Jake Marisnick (.013). 1-4, 3B, K
- Sidekick: Eric Sogard (.000). 0-2
- Billy Goat: Kyle Hendricks (-.366). 3⅔ IP (22 batters faced), 11H, 0BB, 7R, 3K (L 1-3)
- Goat: Kris Bryant (-.036). 2-4
- Kid: Nico Hoerner (-.028). 0-3, BB
WPA Play of the Game: Marcell Ozuna batted with a runner on first and one out in the first inning against Kyle Hendricks. He slugged a two-run homer and the rout was on. (.171)
*Cubs Play of the Game: Dansby Swanson batted in the first inning with a runner on second and one out. The score was 2-0 at the time. He lined out for the second out. (.024)
Heroes and Goats Cumulative Standings: (Top 3/Bottom 3)
- Craig Kimbrel +9
- Jake Arrieta/Jake Marisnick +6
- Brandon Adam -6
- Ian Happ -8
- Zach Davies -11
Up Next: The fourth and final game of the series on Thursday. Adbert Alzolay is started to make his first start of the year against a team other than the Brewers (who he has started against three times). Let’s hope the Cubs can sneak one win out of the series. Or even keep one game close. Or even score some runs. Oh boy, this isn’t great.