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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  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of there money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.

  • Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.

    Arietta though.

  • I felt the same way, too, but...

    I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.

  • Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.

  • I meant December.