The All-Time Greatest Surprise Cubs Killers

A few of you were unimpressed by my previous post by telling me that it should be expected that the top hitters in the game were also the top hitters versus the Cubs. A fair assessment...

So who were the most unexpected Cubs killers? In other words, who saved their best to drive some nails in the Cubs' coffins? Reader "big_lowitzki" did the research for us and provided me with the list.

Using 350 PA's as the cutoff again, here's your top 10 surprise Cubs killers:

Player OPS vs. Cubs
Career OPS
Difference
Bob Boone .833 .661 .172
Tony Pena .790 .620 .170
Bill White .969 .808 .161
Frank Robinson 1.081 .926 .155
Richie Hebner .938 .790 .148
Johnny Edwards .805 .664 .141
Bill Doran .867 .727 .140
Carlos Lee .977 .841 .136
Dante Bichette .970 .835 .135
Clay Dalrymple .788 .657 .131

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know who Johnny Edwards is, but he seems like he was a real pest to the Cubs. Of course, those numbers still pale in comparision to Jeff Blauser's .264 OPS discrepancy albeit it in only 299 PA's (it's a .253 difference if you discount his two years with the Cubs).

I'd provide the full list, but I'm having problems importing it into Google docs and I think Cubnut wanted to do a post of the top Cubs patsies, so you'll have to wait for that.

UPDATE: Reader Leningrad Cowboy takes it a step further and subtracts the players line versus the Cubs from their overall OPS numbers. The lists are similar with a few minor exceptions.

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Comments

Both posts are great, thanks!

I did similar calculations except I backed out stats vs. the Cubs from the players career numbers. The result is the difference between career OPS vs. the Cubs compared to career OPS vs. the rest of the league. Similar findings, with some differences in the. With a minimum of 350 plate appearances against the Cubs, the people who played the Cubs the highest compared to the way they played the rest of the league were...Bob Boone and Bill White. Their OPS was .181 higher against the Cubs than their career numbers against the rest of best (excluding their stats vs. Cubs).

The rest of the top ten:
2. Richie Hebner .162
3. Frank Robinson .161
4. Johnny Edwards .156
5. Bill Doran .150
6. Clay Dalyrmple .145
7. Warren Cromartie .143
8. Carlos Lee .142
9. Dante Bichette .141
10. Andy Van Slyke .137

The next ten: Vinny Vastilla, Donn Clendenon, Luis Gonzalez, Von Hayes, Manny Trillo, Ted Simmons, Tony Pena, Delina DeShields, Jim Ray Hart, and Gregg Jefferies.

Believe it or not, some players don't make a career against the Cubs. As noted in the last thread, Will was not a Thrill against the Cubs, with the exception of that one series. Will Clark's career OPS diff is -.289. Next worst? Barry Bonds with -.196. The rest of the worst (in decreasing order of sucktitude):

Frank Thomas -.178
Mike Piazza -.160
Lance Berkman -.127
Daryl Spencer -.120
Tom Haller -.115
Reggie Sanders -.113
Albert Pujols -.110
Ryan Klesko -.110

For what it is worth, Dusty Baker had a -.081. And Andres Galarraga, a player I would have thought a Cub Killer, simply had a name that was hard for Harry to pronounce. The Big Cat checked in with a -.064.

Albert Puljos is sick. Considering that he's on the list of people who do worse against the Cubs yet post this line against them:

114 420 .288 .374 .571 .945 33 85

Over the course of season (650 abs) thats @ 51 homers and 120 rbis.

I think Barry Bonds is something like 0-for-40 with me in attendance, except for one double he got when I went to go get a beer. Throw out the AB's he's had with me watching live and in person and he's probably been about at his average against the cubs. He's been a big pile of suck when I watch. Though I did see the BP HR he hit off the 3rd story window of the building next to Murphy's.

Thanks for these lists, it's great stuff.

I think it's pretty incredible that, as great a player as he was, Frank Robinson was that much better against the Cubs.

Continuing in the same vein of stepping it up against the Cubs, here are the top players more likely to hit a home run against the Cubs than against the rest of baseball:

1. Hal Lanier 5.3x
2. Brad Ausmus 2.4x
3. Tommy Helms 2.3x
Richie Ashburn
Dick Schofield
Derrel Thomas
Jesus Alou
8. Tommy Davis 2.2x
9. Johnny Edwards 2.1
10. Matty Alou 2.0x

Calculations based on (HR vs. Cubs/AB vs. Cubs) - (HR vs. not Cubs/AB vs. not Cubs).

No big sluggers on the list (Tommy Davis the only one with more than 100 career home runs), but that would have to be the definition of Cub killing--the little guy clubbing one against you.

Lanier tops it because he hit 3 homers off the Cubs and 5 off the rest of baseball. Ashburn hit 2 off the Cubs and 8 off the rest of baseball.

Brad Fucking Ausmus. Can't surprise me with that one. Guy can't hit his weight against the rest of the league but it feels like he just gets big hit after big hit on the baby bears.

Johnny Edwards was sucky catcher, as his career OPS of .664 illustrates, for the Reds then Astros during the 60s and 70s. But he was somehow a 3-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glove winner.

Was he an All-star due to the Red's fans stuffing the ballots?

Actually no. The stuffing incident by Red's fans occured in 1957, after which the fan vote was taken away. It wasn't restored until 1970. Edwards was a reserve in 1963, 1964, and 1965. Although in 63 and 64 there were 3 catchers on the roster.

The very first one that came to my mind was Rafael Belliard, the SS from the Pirates and Braves. He was a horrible hitter (and he's the older brother to Ronnie Belliard), but against the Cubs he was a pain in the behind.

Case in point:

Career stats:

avg: .221 obp. .270 slg. .259 ops. .530

vs Cubs:
avg: .273 obp .322 slg .339 ops .661

+ .131 ops against Cubs over career numbers.

He also was even better at Wrigley over his career:

avg .298 obp .349 slg .355 ops .703

that's a +.173 ops over his career numbers

And he had 28 rbi vs the Cubs in his career, next closest team is 18

Some perspective - Cubs pitching and defense was 'outstanding' from the late 40's to the late 60's. Outstanding as in outstanding Cubbery. The pitching made many 'Cub killers'.

Not surprised to see him on this list. I'm very glad the Cubs didn't sign him to his $100 million contract. I wouldn't have been surprised to see him immediately go the way of Jeff Blauser.

I remember Al Oliver owning Cubs pitching when he was with the Pirates. Here's what the numbers show: against all of the NL, he hit .294/.335/.454. Against the Cubs it was .330/.367/.514 and .342/.382/.545 at Wrigley Field.

hey rob... thanks for spelling my name wrong... :)

whoops...fixed.

I'm very late to the party, but Dante Bichette was one that came to my mind immediately. I thought of Carlos Lee and Bichette. Seemed like Dante always went 3/4 when he played against us.

Too bad Bronson Arroyo doesn't qualify. He'd probably be +500 in OPS.

I've got something I'd like to get off my chest, folks. This is probably going to change this thread completely, but it's an off day and I'm upset.

Listen, I like Felix Pie. Seems like a nice enough kid. Has great minor league numbers. Doesn't particularly rub me the wrong way like former Cub over-hyped wunderkinds have. Kid can't hit a curveball to save his life, but that may come with time. I'm in the camp that he needs time at the big league level to learn how to hit just like he needed time at AA and AAA to learn how to hit.

Here is my problem. Other folks in these here internets try to spin some convoluted logic that not only should he be in the lineup EVERY SINGLE DAY, he should be put at the top of the order. That's despite his 269 OPS (!) against LHP in his career (it's a small sample... only 36 ABs). That said, I don't care what the sample is. That's piss poor. Meanwhile, Lou COULD play Reed Johnson, whose OPS against LHP is only 562 points higher. And people are telling me that we're not putting our best lineup out there against lefties if Reed Johnson is in there and Felix is on the bench. Seriously. They said that.

Does the kid deserve a fair shot at it? Yes he does. Is he only going to improve by consistently facing major league pitching? Yes, that is a fact. But, at the same time, there's no reason to throw games away by trying to baby our best prospect instead of trying to win baseball games. Putting a kid in there who has an OPS 400 points lower than Carlos Zambrano and 200 points lower than Jason Marquis vs LHP is certainly not the right way to go about that. I don't really want to get to September and have him hitting .111 against LHP AND have us 6 games out because he's done absolutely nothing for us every time we face a lefty.

Is there a right way to work him into the lineup? Sure. Does it involve putting him in there 8 days a week and hitting him second? Absolutely not. That's just stupid. And that's all I have to say about that. Now I'm gonna go drink me about 15 Dr. Peppers.

Wes not to get in the way of a good rank, but this seems like a straw man argument to me. Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but there doesn't seem to be a great ground swell of people demanding the Pie bat every day at the top of the lineup.

Sure there are people, my self included, who were somewhat concerned about Pie’s playing time over the weekend. Basically I expected Johnson and Pie will platoon in center with Johnson getting some at bats against RHP from time to time, and unless he “earns” it I don’t expect Pie will see the top of the lineup any time soon.

As a side note, this discovery was unearthed elsewhere in the vast expanse of Cubs blogdom. Wasn't really aimed at anybody here. You are correct that it has not been brought up here, at least to the best of my knowledge.

CPat 9th inning HR to tie, 2-5 on the night...earlier in the game he was called out stealing 2nd on a late Kendall throw. Ump was out of position as replay showed he was safe.

David Weathers 10th inning specialist...of suck.

Jason Kendall turning the 9th spot in the order into something good?
another 3-4 night, started the night with an OPS of 1.364

www.statoftheweek.com

John DeWan has OPS stat ranking (for the first 6 games), focusing on the slot in the batting order.

Kendall's 9th slot is ranking 3rd. Fukudome's 5th slot ranks 5th (OPS at 1.289) and DLee's 3rd slot ranks 6th (at 1.288)

Wes-I agree that Pie needs playing time, and that he should sit against most LHP this year.
I don't think he should hit 8th however. Guaranteeing that he will be thrown slop to hit will not help a kid who, if he does not go 8 for 14, gets benched quickly, even if it's for the immortal Reed Johnson. I do believe Johnson should play against most LHP though. But Pie is going to have to learn to hit Lefties at some point.
I'd settle for this:
Soriano
DeRosa
Lee
Aram
Fukudome
Soto
Pie
Theriot

How about jumping on the bandwagon and batting the pitcher 8th and Pie 9th? He would probably see more fastballs ahead of Soriano, and his speed wouldn't be wasted by pitcher's sac buntng him to 2nd all the time (or at least when he gets on base).

If we go by the notion that your worst hitter should bat ninth, batting pie there and z or marquis eighth is just good baseball.

I'm late to the party here as well, but thanks for including Andy Van Slyke on the list - I remember that he really killed us many times.

Recent comments

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 4 hours 47 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 5 hours 4 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 5 hours 14 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 6 hours 8 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 6 hours 26 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 8 hours 11 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 9 hours 21 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 10 hours 17 sec ago view