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

Comments

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. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8130264/Sandberg-suspended-over-bench-clearing p.s. - steriods.

Recent comments

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  • "never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations." Tie game at home in the ninth, there can never be a save situation. So you're saying, don't use your best reliever today.
  • Sorry if this was covered in a different thread, but while I overall like this new design, the white type on the dark background is a killer. I may be in the minority on that. But again, nice job.
  • It was almost like Javy was saying, "see, O&B, same old Javy here." Guy's gotta learn you don't need to swing hard to knock a Chapman ball out of the park. Choke up, dude, follow Rizzo's lead.
  • The magic number is now 24.
  • Kershaw uses his 132nd pitch for his 15th K (Marlon Juice Byrd, with the tying run at 2nd), and the Dodgers sweep the Giants. Also, Pirates lose to the Brewers for the 5th straight time. So...with 30 to play, we are 6.5 up on SF (7 in loss column) and 8 up on the Nats, and still in contact (4.5 back) of the Pirates. Man, what a roller coaster the last 2 days -- fantastic stuff.
  • Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • I personally don't think managers use closers enough in tie games in the 9th. The mindset and adrenaline should be just like a save situation. You get the outs, you have a great chance of winning. You don't your team is screwed.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
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  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.