Cubs Hits Of The Week (For the Week of 4/7 through 4/13)

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past, exhausting, extra-inning-filled week, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):

#5 Big Hit:
Sunday v. Philadelphia, 3rd inning--Derrek Lee socked a two-run double off 67-year-old Jamie Moyer to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead they would eventually surrender. WPA .182

#4 Big Hit:
Thursday v. Pittsburgh, 6th inning--Geovany Soto put the Cubs in front of the Pirates to stay with a two-run, sixth-inning bomb against Matt Morris, who, just because of how many times he beat the Cubs as a Cardinal, had it coming to him. WPA .257

#3 Big Hit:
Sunday v. Philadelphia, 10th inning--With the Cub bench thinned by substitutions in yet another extra-inning game, Carlos Zambrano entered the game as a pinch-hitter with teammates at first and second and one out. Zambrano slapped a would-be double-play ball but Phillies second baseman Chase Utley's errant throw allowed Zambrano to reach base and Ronny Cedeno to score with the eventual winning run.
"Z put the ball in play and he hustled," Mark DeRosa said. "That shows the character of this team." This play also showed the power of having the opposing team's second baseman muck up a double play at a critical juncture in a game. WPA .322

#2 Big Hit:
Wednesday v. Pittsburgh, 15th inning--When Felix Pie came to bat with two men on and two out in the 11th inning of this game, Ron Santo's radio commentary consisted of something between a sigh of resignation and a groan. Pie then rolled out. Four innings later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Pie, facing reliever Phil Dumatrait, had another chance and on this occasion, he sliced a single to short leftfield, plating Kevin Hart and Ryan Theriot with the runs that allowed the Cubs to finally dump the Bucs. WPA .387

#1 Big Hit:
Wednesday v. Pittsburgh, 14th inning--An inning before Pie's timely hit, Aramis Ramirez clubbed a Dumatrait pitch deep into the Pittsburgh night to give the visitors a 4-2 lead...that lasted for all of about 15 minutes. WPA .484


But when Brad Penny and Maddux were teammates on the Dodgers, during the last two months of 2006, they had a conversation one day that led Penny to reach a stunning conclusion: This guy knows my stuff better than I do. It was eerie, really, how easily Maddux dissected Penny's repertoire and suggested ways to maximize it. Penny, figuring he'd take advantage of the situation, asked Maddux to call a game for him against the Cubs. And so, on the night of Sept. 13, Penny glanced into the dugout before every delivery and found Maddux, who signaled the next pitch by looking toward different parts of the ballpark. Penny threw seven scoreless innings with no walks and beat the Cubs 6-0. "Maddux probably won't tell you that story," Penny says. He's right.

cal ripken jr. would be proud.

If you're a subscriber, you can now listen to their flagship station online instead of hauling the radio around everywhere.


I've been listening online to XM since about a year and a half ago, I'd have never made it through the past few semesters of exams without it. It doesn't have the sports channels, though.

Although I guess you could be talking about that? That'd certainly be awesome, I had to "watch" Friday's game on's gamewhatever, and I'd much rather be listening.

p.s., if you don't have XM ....get it. It's golden.

pretty sure it's's just their XM home plate channel 175 that's available online. You don't get the individual games yet.

it's just their XM home plate channel 175 that's available online. You don't get the individual games yet.
That's correct. Channel 175 (aka Home Plate) has been available online now for 2-3 weeks to subscribers. Channels 176-189 are not online and I haven't heard of any plans to add them.

ARam's two-run homer had a higher WPA than Pie's two-run single. I would have figured they would be equal, or Pie's at least would be higher since it came later in the game. Anyone know why the reverse is true?

My guess is that the loading of the bases pushed the Win Probability up, so Pie didn't have as far to move it when he got his hit. I would bet the win probability was about the same after each of the two hits, but Pie's didn't add as much.

I think you're exactly right. For anyone who cares, here is the Hardball Times piece from a couple years back which explains the concept in detail...

Dont really want to start the Fukudome is only signed for RF arguement but.....

If Lou's decision is Pie is unable to handle breaking ball pitches in the majors and if Fukudome is willing to play CF then Pie should be sent down and Murton recalled to play RF.

My personal preference would be putting Murton in LF, Fuku in CF and Soriano in RF. But thats too much switching around.

I really like Fuku's RF defense and Pie's defense in CF but if Pie is a liability with the bat then I will take the downgrade in defense to get someone who can hit. And no Reed Johnson isn't good enough in my opinion. His butt should be firmly planted on the bench.

Your ideal scenario is the same as mine, but it obviously won't happen. I don't think anyone can use the argument that Soriano might suffer from moving to RF though. He's sucked out loud at the plate while playing left this year, so moving him to right couldn't make anything worse.

I'd get on board with this, too. I'll wait another 4 or 5 weeks just make sure about where Felix stands. He could still get hot.

I don't care where you play Soriano and where you play Murton, but it'd be nice to get them both in there. The problem, at the current time, is that Murton is still struggling with power. While he is a very nice 10/25 at the plate to start the AAA season, all 10 of those hits are singles. He's 400/545/400. I've never been of the school that it's mandatory that your corner OFers hit a bunch of doubles and slug 500, but they have to come from somewhere. If Soto continues to hit for power, perhaps we can hide a low slugging percentage from Murton if he gets on base at a good clip.

On the flip side of that argument, we're doing no better now with Felix the way he's hitting. I'll give him another few weeks before I start calling for a move to be made, though.

in 1974 when Ron Santo rejected a trade to the Angels, the paragraph in the players agreement he invoked to block the deal became known as the Santo Clause.

I know it's not a key hit, but DLee's defensive gem yesterday in the 9th was huge. Not only another big day with the bat, but his glove and footwork on that play were awesome. Looks like the Big Fella is all the way back!

historical Cubbery for the off-day about the 1960's Cubs...1964 in particular.

why does Aramis' HR to put the Cubs up by 2 in the 14th have such a higher WPA than Pie's 2-RBI hit an inning later?

Check out the comments above -- Andrew's comment & djchi's reply:

Duh. Thanks, JoeP.

Recent comments

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  • May their next game go 26 innngs..and get suspended.

  • Hear Hear!

  • So many memories from this game -- Javy's HR, Grimm's Ks, Soler's throw, Schwarber's ridiculous bomb, Strop overcoming his demons, Lackey screaming at himself after giving up the hit to Hammel....just awesome stuff.

  • dodgers win...1 more game of pitcher use on the mets and dodgers (degrom + greenkey)

  • maddon is easily one of the best managers out there, that's why he's getting paid huge for someone that doesn't have to rent/own in NYC/LA.

    for the most part there's 2-3-5 of guys on that level, and 25-28 other teams trying to find a guy who's capable. they can also go out of favor rather quickly (m.sciossa recently). last year's NL MOY didn't make it a full year into 2015 before getting fired.

    no matter how one feels about how it could have been done cheaper with less commitment, we only know how this way is working out. it's been awesome so far.

  • Agree. It could not be more perfect that we beat the Cardinals in this ascendant season of all seasons, and in the first postseason series we ever saw them in.

  • I think all we can say is, "Okay, let's go on to the next series and see what happens." And how indescribably awesome is it to be able to say that on this date in this year.

  • Thanks, O&B. So funny about our age. Let's just say- I have always wondered why Durocher didn't give Hundley a few days off when he had Gene Oliver and John Boccabella on the bench.

  • Strop K'ing Peralta to start the 8th, given their history -- what a fantastic moment! And Javy bouncing back -- big time -- form yesterday's games.

    Contributions from literally everyone in this series -- Soler and Schwarber were off the charts -- Miggy's pick-off was awesome.

    This team is just so much damn fun.

  • Wish I knew how to post a pic. Both CUBSTER & I in attendance. I finally feel like some demons have been vanquished, and there is some magic here.

    Joe Maddon is far and away the best manager I have seen work for my team.

  • pretty much this. also, a magician.

  • Madden brought it in some lions and sharks to Wrigley Field and let them eat people

  • What did I miss?

  • I think Strop deserves a very special mention. He had so many struggles against the Cardinals but pitched two successful and very high pressure innings the last two games against them and looked nasty doing so.

  • How about this, the Cubs are 10-1 over the last 3 weeks.

  • I was thinking about it earlier that the Cubs are 101-66 and the Cards 101-65...but, does anyone outside of the two of us ever calculate records including post season? Don't think I've seen that ever before.