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 the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.