Cubs Hits Of The Week (5/5 Through 5/11)

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during a week that began with a disappointing series against a team in the throes of a long losing streak, but ended with a sweep of the club with the best record in the National League, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):

#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Reds, 4th inning — After Geovany Soto whiffs with men at second and third, Ronny Cedeño connects for a two-out, two-run single to extend the Cubs lead to 3-0, which turns out to be more than cushion enough for Carlos Zambrano. Cedeño's hit was far and away the Cubs' biggest one during the three games in Cincinnati. WPA .172

#4 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Alfonso Soriano, who opened the week flailing and failing in Cincinnati and looking like a living, breathing argument for players going on rehab assignments following stints on the DL, had his biggest day of the year on Saturday. One of Soriano's four hits was this tie-breaking double, which brought pinch-runner Jason Marquis home with the run that put the Cubs in front to stay. WPA .181

#3 Big Hit:
Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Daryle Ward, who, up until this game, had managed to take the "hit" out of "pinch hit," collects his first hit of the year coming off the bench, a single that scores Mark DeRosa from second base with the run that draws the Cubs even with Arizona, 2-2, and sets the stage for the fireworks that are to follow. WPA .183

#2 Big Hit:
Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 8th inning — Turns out the D-backs got a double dose of Daryle this weekend. On Sunday, Ward steps to the plate with the bases loaded, one out, and the score tied 4-4 and pounds a Tony Peña pitch into right-center field for a two-run double. Kudos here to Lou Piniella for his decision to pinch-hit Alfonso Soriano immediately before batting Daryle Ward, knowing that Arizona would walk Soriano, but then be without a lefty to face Ward. That being the case, we'll deposit 30% of this WPA into Lou Piniella's account. WPA .187

#1 Big Hit:
Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — In the last two years, Juan Cruz had allowed his former team just one earned run in 15 IP. This past weekend was another story. On Sunday, Reed Johnson clubs a Cruz pitch deep into the left-centerfield bleachers, a two-run shot that knots Sunday's game at 4-4 and is sufficiently dramatic to overshadow a scintillating Kasper/Brenly interview of Tony Romo. WPA .319


You're a big hit with me, Cubnut.  Double dose of Daryle, mmmmm........

If you look at FanGraph's Play Log for Daryle Ward, has last five at bats (coming in five separate games) have increased the Cubs' win probability by .678. That's amazing, two-thirds of a win with just five at-bats.

The benefits of being a pinch-hitter who's entering games late, at key moments, I would think. Nice that he's finally hitting the ball.

Loved Reed Johnsons 2 run homer - The cute kid who caught the ball was 8 year old Nick Peterson of Byron, Illinois - totally made his day -

Love those cubs

...okay not. it was for a brawl.

p.s. - steriods.

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.