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  • Cubs bats freeze over; Pirates win 5-2"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Chicago Cubs recapsChicago Cubs minor leaguesChicago Cubs essaysChicago Cubs game threadsWrigley Field renovationsFull archiveLibrary Bleed Cubbie Blue Community GuidelinesCurrent time in ChicagoBCB Specials & Site InfoWinter 2019 music threadsCubs StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Cubs newsYahoo Cubs team pageYahoo Cubs reportYahoo Cubs depth chartYahoo Cubs transactionsYahoo Cubs photosOdds Shop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub 鉁旵hicago Cubs recaps2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 11New http://www.chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-david-ross-jersey ,53commentsCubs bats freeze over; Pirates win 5-2CDTShareTweetShareShare2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Game 11Jon Durr-USA TODAY SportsI could have gone with the headline “another one bites the dust,” or at least something to that effect. Unfortunately, the Cubs have piled up eight losses already on the young season. I suspect it is little comfort to Cubs fans that the defending champion Red Sox have already lost nine or that the perennial playoff team Yankees have already lost seven.Or even that the team that knocked the Cubs from the playoffs last year has lost nine. Certainly, some teams that expect to be playoff teams are off to rough starts. Almost certainly one or more of the Cubs, Red Sox, Yankees, and Rockies will miss the playoffs because of a cold start. It can definitely happen. But there is a lot baseball between now and then and I’d be greatly surprised if any of these teams are giving up the fight because of a rough start.If you’ve followed my writing with any regularity, you know that my glass is pretty much always half full. So you know I’m not panicking. I know that most of you aren’t either. A few of you are no doubt over reacting and I get that. And the majority of you get it that it is a marathon and not a sprint. But it’s just hard to see the silver lining when a team hasn’t even won back to back games once in the first 11 games. So I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m going to talk through a couple of key spots in the game and see how WPA viewed them. The first inflection point in this game occurred in the bottom of the third inning. Yu Darvish had been pounding the strike zone for the most part and challenging hitters in the cold. Two Pirate hitters took him deep. That doesn’t bother me one bit. I thought this was one of the better starts Yu has had as a Cub. Unfortunately, not a very high bar. I’m talking about the bottom of the third inning. Jason Heyward singled. Albert Almora Jr. followed with a single of his own and the Cubs had runners on first and second for Yu Darvish. Yu has a grand total of 51 plate appearances in his career with a line of .109/.128/.217. He’s had a total of four sacrifice bunts in his career. This is another stupid thing that happens with no designated hitter. In a game that you figure to be extremely low scoring, you have a terrible major league hitter up there with very little chance of a good outcome. This isn’t because Darvish isn’t a good athlete. He certainly looks like a guy who is in pretty good shape. I remember videos of him prior to being a Cub where he can pitch decently well with either arm. But he averages just over seven plate appearances a year so far in his big league career. That number is trending up, but in any event he wasn’t regularly asked to hit until 2017, his sixth year (fifth season due to injury) in MLB.There was a passed ball (.050 WPA) so Yu didn’t even need to bunt. Just hit a grounder or a fly ball of medium depth and at least pressure the defense. But no, Yu struck out (-.061) for the 30th time in 51 career plate appearances. Please die on the hill of this being one of the great parts of baseball. The Designated Hitter can not come quickly enough for me. Daniel Descalso followed with a strikeout of his own (-.079) and that was pretty much it for the third inning. Later, Yu got the first out of the sixth inning. Starling Marte followed with what looked like a radar guided grounder from some Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was deflected slightly by Darvish, then just trickled under the gloves of both Javier Baez and Daniel Descalso (-.017). Francisco Cervelli then followed a Marte stolen base (-.014) with what almost looked like an accidental contact of the ball and resulted in a single (-.035). Those two flukey singles spelled the end of Darvish’s night. Kyle Ryan was summoned and I thought the umpire missed a call on the first pitch to Josh Bell. Regardless, Bell made solid contact to right field to score the Pirates fourth run (-.065). Ryan then made a wild pickoff throw to first and a fifth run (-.022) was charged to Yu (unearned). That’s a ball that Anthony Rizzo usually snags at first, but on the cold night Anthony looked just a touch “off.” The bullpen did technically throw 3鈪?innings of scoreless ball, though they did allow the two inherited runners to score. That ended up being back breaking as this whole game might have played out differently had the Cubs not been chasing a 5-1 deficit when they managed to get some runners in the seventh and eighth innings. But, for what it’s worth that is now 15鈪?innings of the bullpen not being charged with any runs.Much of the last four innings of the game for the Cubs consisted of the Cubs working deep counts before chasing balls out of the zone, save for a run-scoring rally in the eighth that was ultimately snuffed by Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez. These cold weather games aren’t a lot of fun for anyone. I never read too much into them and they are usually easily dismissed for what they are. But with the extremely slow start, it’s hard not to be frustrated by a game that could easily have gone differently. Jordan Lyles and Felipe Vazquez pitched fantastically and I tip my cap to them for their efforts.With that, we turn our attention to yesterday’s game as we look at what WPA had to say about Heroes and Goats. As always the Heroes and Goats are determined by WPA (Win Probability Added — here’s a good explanation of how WPA works) and are not in any way subjective. Many days WPA will not tell the story of what happened Dustin Pedroia Jersey , but often it can give at least a glimpse to who rose to the occasion in a high leverage moment or who didn’t get the job done in that moment. Also note, for the purposes of Heroes and Goats, we ignore the results of pitchers while they are batting and hitters while they are pitching. With that, we get to the results.Game 11, April 10: Cubs 2, Pirates 5 (3-8)Source: FanGraphsTHREE HEROES:Superhero: Jason Heyward (.204). I can’t stop my mind from wandering with what if’s considering the recent stretch from Heyward. The Cubs had only six hits last night and Heyward had three of them. Included among them was a solo homer that was one of the few bright spots on the night. I just have to type that Jason Heyward has a .371/.452/.714 line that is good for a wRC+ of 188. And his BABIP of .321 would not be one of the two highest marks of his career if it were a full season number.Hero: Javier Baez (.050). Javy had a very nice run scoring double in the eighth inning. He also had a nice at bat in the sixth inning in which he worked a full count. Unfortunately that one ended with him chasing ball four above the strike zone. Sidekick: Albert Almora Jr. (.017). Almora had that single in the third inning and on a night where not a whole lot went well for the Cubs, that was enough to land him here. THREE GOATS:Billy Goat: Yu Darvish (-.171). Yu threw 5鈪?innings, allowed five hits, no walks, and four runs. Two home runs and two fluky singles doomed his night. He did strike out four. Goat: Daniel Descalso (-.135). He was hitless in four at bats including a key strike out with runners on second and third in the third inning. He’s cooled off a bit and has only one hit and one walk over his last four games (16 plate appearances). Kid: Kyle Schwarber (-.132). I’m happy to see Schwarber getting opportunities to play a bit more, particularly against left handed pitching. Though he did look completely over matched by Felipe Vazquez, that’s certainly not a small club. Unfortunately, Kyle had a really rough night, striking out four times in four at bats. WPA Play of the Game: Starling Marte batted with two outs and a runner on first in the third inning. He hit a two-run homer. (.190)*Cubs Play of the Game: Javier Baez batted with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth inning. He doubled, scoring one. (.112)Cumulative Standings Top/Bottom 3:(# - returned to minors)Ben Zobrist 11Javier Baez 7Willson Contreras/Jason Heyward 5Kris Bryant/Yu Darvish -5Kyle Hendricks -6#Carl Edwards Jr. -8Up Next: Should weather permit, the teams will meet one more time tonight with each team having a chance to win the series. The Cubs will send Jose Quintana to the mound for his second start of the season. In two appearances, he’s thrown just seven innings and has a 10.29 ERA and has allowed 10 runs total. Last year, Jose faced the Pirates twice, didn’t factor in the decision in either and lasted five innings in each. He allowed two runs in one and one in the other. He did beat the Pirates once in a Cub uniform back in August of 2017. He’s never been the losing pitcher against the Pirates in a Cub uniform. Pirates hitters only have a total of 85 plate appearances against Jose and they haven’t hit him very well (.231/.268/.449). That includes 14 plate appearances by Lonnie Chisenhall and 11 by Corey Dickerson who are both on the injured list for the Pirates. That leaves only Starling Marte with more than 10 plate appearances against Jose and he’s struggled in those (.452 OPS).Joe Musgrove has made two appearances and one start for the Pirates as well. He’s throw a total of nine innings and hasn’t been scored upon. He sparkled in his one start against the Reds. He threw seven innings of three hit, one walk ball while striking out eight. He faced the Cubs twice in 2018 and won both of them. Each time he threw seven innings and allowed only one run. Current Cubs have a line of (.180/.275/.311) against Musgrove over a total of 69 plate appearances. Anthony Rizzo is the only Cub with 10 or more plate appearances against Joe and he too has struggled. (no hits, .300 OPS) Daniel Descalso and Albert Almora Jr. each have doubles in small sample sizes and Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant have homers. Hopefully, if the game is played Babe Ruth Jersey , the Cubs can start to solve the Musgrove riddle. I hope you hadn’t made other plans."There have been longer games at Chase Field in terms of innings. Indeed, later this season, we saw a 16-inning contest against the San Diego Padres. However, that ended in a) defeat for the Diamondbacks, and b) a relatively brief five hours and thirty-one minutes. Three other games also went that distance, in 2013, 2006 and 1999, but none of them topped 5:32 in duration. This one cruised past them all, in part because it broke a near two-decade old mark for most base-runners allowed in an Arizona victory. The D-backs allowed 19 hits and eight walks, passing the previous record of 26 (14 hits, nine walks, two HBP and a ROE) set in August 1998. No wonder this took nearer six hours than five and a half. Despite the mojo of Byung-Hyun Kim tossing out the first pitch, it didn’t begin like a home win, as a Yasmani Grandal blast gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead, one out and 16 pitches into the game. Arizona chipped away, tying the game with runs in the first, third and fourth. LA starter Hyun-Jun Ryu lasted only four innings, while Taijuan Walker was gone after five, and the bullpens settled in for what turned out to be a long night. The Dodgers took advantage: Yoshihisa Hirano allowed his first run, on a home-run by Logan Forsythe in the sixth. Then Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland each gave up another in their innings; although Jorge De La Rosa left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Arizona trailed by three.Going up against Kenley Jansen - at that time, still one of the most feared closers in the majors - things looked bleak http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-dustin-pedroia-jersey , especially after David Peralta and Ketel Marte grounded out. That left Arizona down to their final out, trailing by three with the bases empty, and a Win Probability of just 0.6%. But Paul Goldschmidt drew a full count walk. Then A.J. Pollock drew a full-count walk, and Chris Owings came to the plate representing the tying run. He wasn’t hanging around, and deposited the first thing he saw, a mediocre 91 mph pitch from Jansen, into the left-field bleachers for a three-run home-run, tying the game at six. We had ourselves a brand-new ballgame. And things were just getting started. Five innings followed without either side being able to score. That, combined with the short outings by both starters, left the relief corps on each side severely taxed, and Arizona and Los Angeles were eventually worn down to their last bullpen arm standing - Wilmer Font and Fernando Salas respectively. It looked like the Dodgers would prevail, scoring off Salas in his third inning of work. But the D-backs rallied once more, tying the game up on Nick Ahmed’s RBI double into the left-center field gap. [Jake Lamb scored that run, but his dive home exacerbated the shoulder injury suffered earlier that night, diving for a pop-up in the ninth - it eventually ended his season in July]That brought in Jeff Mathis, pinch-hitting for Salas with one out and the winning run on second-base. This switch was a role of the dice by Torey Lovullo, with Salas his final available pitcher: if Arizona hadn’t walked it off, Mathis would have ended up taking the mound for the sixteenth inning [Jeff would eventually get to make his Arizona pitching debut later in the year, on July 8, pitching the sixteenth inning there, and taking the loss against the Padres on a home-run to Wil Myers] And that was a real risk. The catcher made his major-league debut in 2005. Know how many pinch hits Mathis had before in his career before this trip to the plate? Just two. He had gone 2-for-26 off the bench, with 11 strikeouts.Of course Bobby Doerr Jersey , Mathis dumped the ball almost into the same spot as Ahmed’s game-tying double, and as the clock rolled on to nearly half-past midnight in Phoenix, the latest celebration in Chase Field history got under way. What they saidTorey Lovullo: “It was a really, really satisfying night to come out ahead the way we did. It spoke volumes about the character of this team. I’ve talked about it now for over a year, this team doesn’t shut down. They fight, they claw, they believe鈥eally proud of these guys tonight.”Chris Owings: “It was two really good at-bats before me, and just looking at his misses, kind of up and away, kind of thinking he’d need to get back in the zone, and that pitch was right where I was kind of looking. Definitely got us back in the game, and from there, the rest is history.”Taijuan Walker: “[Mathis] definitely didn’t want to pitch. He came in here and he had the look on his face. He didn’t want to pitch. We were pretty much like, ‘Hey, if you don’t want to pitch, get a hit.’ He did. It was awesome.”Jeff Mathis: “Everybody was coming in and talking about how slow [Font’s curveball] was and how you have to let it get there. It was really good advice for me coming in off the bench... Watching him over the last four innings, he was mixing it up, fastball and his curveball. He threw me the first one for a strike and I saw it pretty good. He ended up leaving the next one up and I was able to get some barrel on it.”Alex Boswell: “In the end, this team never quits. Who would have thought that the longest game in Chase Field history would end with a Jeff Mathis walk-off single.”