Author Topic: A duel between two teams desperately trying to lose a game  (Read 103 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Doom Newbie
    • View Profile
A duel between two teams desperately trying to lose a game
« on: July 05, 2019, 04:40:41 AM »
"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Chicago Cubs recapsChicago Cubs minor leaguesChicago Cubs essaysChicago Cubs game threadsWrigley Field renovationsFull archiveLibrary Bleed Cubbie Blue Community GuidelinesCurrent time in ChicagoBCB Specials & Site InfoWinter 2019 music threadsCubs StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Cubs newsYahoo Cubs team pageYahoo Cubs reportYahoo Cubs depth chartYahoo Cubs transactionsYahoo Cubs photosOdds Shop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub 鉁旵hicago Cubs recaps2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 14New Juan Marichal Jersey ,2commentsA duel between two teams desperately trying to lose a gameCDTShareTweetShareShare2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 14Matt Marton-USA TODAY SportsItís possible I use the phrase train wreck too often. Thatís my instinct for describing Saturdayís game. But thatís what this was. It was a slow moving train derailment. The insanity started in the first inning and whatever the heck Justin Bourís play was, what with him basically calling himself out on a close play (when the umpire had called him safe). And it didnít end until the final moments of the game when an umpire decided to end the game on a judgment call. It is always unfortunate when a game ends on a judgment call. As someone who did some amateur umpiring, I can say that you never want to see the game end with umpireís discretion. You want to be part of the background. But no, this one ended on a very close call. I do think he got it wrong, but it should never come down to that. For all of the angst and animosity, the Angels team that took the field was not a particularly good one. It was a team that the Cubs should beat. But, the Cubs simply didnít play well. Kyle Hendricks allowed six consecutive Angels to reach base starting with Bour in the first. Five of them were singles and the other was old pal Tommy La Stella doing his swing at the glove trick that somehow keeps working. The Angels had a sixth-inning rally that produced two runs on only one hit. All the more frustrating, the hit came first. It was then followed by four walks in the inning. Was it in the post mortem for the 2017 season that the front office talked about attacking the strike zone and not walking so many hitters? Here we are in 2019 and this remains a problem. Itís hard to argue taking out a struggling Kyle Hendricks until you watch the bullpen struggle to survive the last four innings against a subpar offensive Angels team. This is the third consecutive Cubs loss that was defined by a starting pitcher who was effective in shutting down the Cubs through swings and misses and weak contact and then finished by a closer recording more than three outs to end the game. At least this time, the Cubs bats mustered some offense against Angels closer Cody Allen. But in the end, they came up short. Again. With that, we turn our attention to yesterdayís game as we look at what WPA had to say about Heroes and Goats. As always the Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added ó hereís a good explanation of how WPA works) 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 didnít get the job done in that moment. Also note, for the purposes of Heroes and Goats , we ignore the results of pitchers while they are batting and hitters while they are pitching. With that, we get to the results.Game 14, April 13: Cubs 5, Angels 6 (5-9)Source: FanGraphsTHREE HEROES:Superhero: Javier Baez (.387). Javyís superhero skill is becoming incorporeal. I have no idea how he wasnít out at second on his final double of the day. Javy had three doubles in five at bats. He drove in two runs. Unfortunately, he didnít score one.Hero: Jason Heyward (.281). Obviously Jason is not going to finish the season with the numbers heís putting up. But if this blistering start is not a mirage, Iím not sure I can think of anyone ever Iíd be happier for. I canít even imagine how it is possible to struggle for three full years and then turn it around like this. Jason had two hits, a walk, and a very strange sacrifice fly/error play that gave the Cubs hope. Sidekick: Mark Zagunis (.082). Mark had quite an at-bat in the eighth inning and it ended with a two-run single. Itís a small sample size, but it appears that Markís bat is ready to play at the big-league level.THREE GOATS:Billy Goat: Willson Contreras (-.413). From the Sidekick spot to the Billy Goat spot. Things can turn abruptly from one day to the next. Willson had just one infield single in five at bats. He struck out three times including a devastating one that Iíll talk more about below.Goat: Kyle Schwarber (-.305). I basically only watch the Cubs, but at least as far as Cubs game go, no one has more judgment calls go against them than Kyle does. That said, Kyleís in a horrible slump. Maybe the breakout season everyone is calling for is coming, but he had another rough day at the plate. He had one walk in five plate appearances and struck out twice. Kid: Daniel Descalso (-.155). The Cubs had nine hits and seven walks in this one. They had traffic all day long , but just couldnít cash in enough times. Daniel struck out to end the eighth with runner on first and second and the Cubs down two. He had one hit in five at bats and struck out twice. WPA Play of the Game: Kyle Schwarberís game ending strikeout got all of the publicity, but the devastating one was Willson Contreras immediately before it. The Angels pulled the infield in with a 6-5 lead and one out in the ninth. Any kind of fly ball had a very good chance of producing a run with Javier Baez on third. Additionally, a hard grounder was probably going to win the game absent a strong fielding play from the Angels. Plan C then would be working a deep count against a pitcher who appeared to be content to work around Contreras. Maybe, Allen would bounce one or something that could get away and let Baez come home. Instead, Willson flailed at three straight pitches out of the zone for the all important second out. (.298)*Cubs Play of the Game: With runners on second and third, one out and the Cubs losing 6-4, Jason Heyward was at the plate. He popped one down the left field line that was possibly going to be a foul ball. Angels left fielder Brian Goodwin tried to make a sliding catch only had it to bounce off of his glove. Heyward made it all of the way to second and one run scored. (.254)Cumulative Standings Top/Bottom 3:(* = injured list; # = returned to minors)Ben Zobrist 11Jason Heyward 8*Victor Caratini/Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez 4Yu Darvish/Kris Bryant -5Kyle Hendricks -6#Carl Edwards Jr. -8Up Next: For what itís worth, Iíll cover the pitching matchup for the third and final scheduled game of this series. The Cubs will try to win their second straight series to start their home season. The Angels will be looking for their eighth win in nine tries. The Cubs have Tyler Chatwood filling in for the injured Jon Lester. Tyler has thrown six innings over four appearances so far this year. Heís allowed six hits, five walks and four runs. That follows a 2018 season that saw him go 4-6 with a 5.30 ERA and walk a staggering 95 batters in 103鈪?innings. He lead the majors with that number despite 134 pitchers throwing more innings than he did. Lucas Giolito, who finished second with 90 walks, threw 69鈪?innings more than Chatwood. On a cold day with precipitation expected, what could go wrong? Oh, and six of the Cubs eight relievers threw on Saturday.Ex-Cub Trevor Cahill will be the opposition. Heís made three starts already for the Angels and he is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA. Heís struck out 16 batters in 18 innings. Last time out Dave Dravecky Jersey , he threw six innings in a 5-2 win over the Brewers. He allowed two runs on five hits while striking out eight. Trevor has made five appearances in his career against the Cubs including four starts. He is 3-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 27 innings of work. Despite this being a depleted Angels team without Mike Trout, Iím not sure this a game the Cubs want to see played. David Banks/Getty ImagesThe Colorado Rockies punched their playoff ticket for the second consecutive season with a 5-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.Elsewhere, the New York Yankees clinched home field for the American League Wild Card Game versus the Oakland Athletics thanks to an 11-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox.Only two more regular-season days of baseball are on tap before the postseason begins. The American League playoff picture is set, but the National League may need Saturday and Sunday (and perhaps a Monday tiebreaker) to determine its teams and seeding.Here's a look at some 2018 World Series champion odds, perOddsShark, as well as an MLB playoff picture update after Friday's games.World Series OddsBoston Red Sox: 29-10Houston Astros: 33-10Chicago Cubs: 33-4Cleveland Indians: 9-1Los Angeles Dodgers: 48-5New York Yankees: 21-2Atlanta Braves: 11-1Colorado Rockies: 58-5Milwaukee Brewers: 29-2Oakland Athletics: 173-10St. Louis Cardinals: 155-2American League Playoff PictureThere is no drama in the American League race, as the seedings have already been decided. The Boston Red Sox (107-53) will be the Junior Circuit's No. 1 seed and have earned home-field advantage through the World Series should they get that far.Like last year, the defending champion Houston Astros (101-58) will be the No. 2 seed. They will have home-field advantage over the No. 3 Cleveland Indians (90-70) in the American League Division Series.The New York Yankees (99-61) are the AL's first wild-card team, having finished second to the Red Sox in the East. They will host the Oakland Athletics (96-64) in the AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.The winner of that game will face the Red Sox in the ALDS. National LeaguePlayoff PictureThis is where things get a little interesting.We know four of the five playoff teams: the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves and the Rockies.What we don't know are the seedings (none have been decided) and the final playoff team (which will be either the Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals).We do know that the 94-66 Cubs or 93-67 Brewers will be the No. 1 seed. Those two clubs are fighting for the NL Central crown, with the winner taking top honors and the loser being relegated to hosting the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.The Cubs will host the Cards on Saturday and Sunday, while the Brew Crew will be home against the Detroit Tigers. If the two teams tie in the standings , a one-game playoff at Wrigley Field will occur Monday to break the tie.The No. 2 seed is up for grabs and can be obtained by the Braves (90-70), Rockies (90-70) or Dodgers (89-71).We know the Braves can finish no lower than third by virtue of their NL East crown already. They will be in the NLDS against the NL West winner.However, the Braves are on the wrong end of tiebreakers against the Rockies and Dodgers, having lost the season series to each of them 5-2. Therefore, the only way Atlanta can get the No. 2 seed is if it finishes with a better record than the NL West winner. The Braves close their regular season with two road games against the Philadelphia Phillies.The Rockies have the one-game edge in the West with two home games left against the Nats. The Dodgers have two road matchups versus the San Francisco Giants, with ace Clayton Kershaw taking the mound Saturday.Colorado has the inside track on the NL West crown and No. 2 seed; it would get both with two victories.If Colorado and L.A. tie for the division, a one-game playoff will take place Monday in L.A. (the Dodgers get that honor by virtue of winning the season series12-7). The winner would face the Braves in the NLDS (seeding to be determined), while the loser would go to the NL Central winner for the Wild Card Game.The Cardinals' season is on the brink. They need two wins at the Cubs and two Dodgers losses at the Giants to force a one-game playoff to determine the second wild card. The good news for the Redbirds is that playoff would take place in St. Louis thanks to its 4-3 season-series win over L.A.However, it's a tall order, especially with Kershaw on the mound Saturday. One more L.A. win or Cardinals loss ends St. Louis' season.