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

Comments

http://6-4-2.blogspot.com/2008/04/great-greg-maddu...

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.

Neat.

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 mlb.com'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 new...it'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...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-one-about-win-probability/

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!

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/cubdoms-...

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: http://www.thecubreporter.com/2008/04/14/cubs-hits...

Duh. Thanks, JoeP.

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  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 31 min 33 sec ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 45 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 2 hours 32 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 29 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 41 min ago view