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/Sandber...

p.s. - steriods.

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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 2 hours 10 sec ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 6 hours 8 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 7 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 13 hours 23 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 13 hours 30 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 13 hours 34 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 13 hours 36 min ago view