The Miami Marlins fought bravely against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, forcing extra time to decide the winner.
In 11 innings at Wrigley Field, with an announced crowd of 37,241, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Miami Marlins by a 3-2 final score. On a cloudy 60º evening, Kyle Hendricks offered up an 87 MPH fastball to leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson at 6:35PM local. Granderson watched it go by, then took a ball, and got to first on a Hendricks throwing error.
Granderson scored later in the inning on a Starlin Castro single into left field, but the lead wouldn’t stand up forever. Which players stood out as the night’s most (and least) clutch? Who had the biggest impact on the game? We use the Wins Probability Added (WPA) metric to help us dissect the box score. Although pitchers also hit, I’m dividing their impact to not penalize them for their plate appearances. In the unlikely scenario that a certain pitcher is in either the top or bottom three WPA in the game in both hitting or pitching, that pitcher will get two entries.
Kyle Hendricks (P) .441
Hendricks picked up no decision in a quality start. The first inning flub was the only mark on his day, and it was an unearned run. He pitched eight innings, getting 74-of-96 pitches in the zone, right about a 77 percent strike rate with zero walks. He struck out seven and allowed five hits, on a double and four singles. His night ended with a sparkling 82 GameScore, which if he played for the Miami Marlins, would be the second best effort of the season.
Jason Heyward .307
Two fly outs, a ground out and a Tayron Guerrero induced strikeout would be all that Heyward would have to show for this one had it not gone to extra innings. That was not to be. In the bottom of the 11th, the Miami Marlins sent out Jose Quijada, who promptly allowed a walkoff solo homer to the 10-year MLB veteran. The event started with the Cubs holding a 63.3 percent chance of victory, and the resultant homer was worth .367 positive WPA.
Anthony Rizzo .189
Rizzo singled Kris Bryant to third with one out in the bottom of the first for a .068 positive impact, but both were stranded after Javy Baez grounded into an inning-ending double play. A fourth-inning single again moved Bryant to third base for another .124 WPA. Rizzo eventually crossed the plate on a Jorge Alfaro passed ball. Rizzo later flew out and grounded out for negligible impact.
Starlin Castro .169
Castro knocked Granderson home in the first for a .095 positive impact on the bottom line. He added a single in the fourth for .025, struck out in the sixth, and then singled Isaac Galloway to second base in the ninth for another .110 WPA. After an 0-for-29 slump, Castro seems to be zeroing in.
Tayron Guerrero .162
Guerrero relieved Urena, and tossed two perfect innings, getting 13-of-17 offerings over the plate and striking out two batters.
Nick Anderson .133
Tyler Chatwood .133
Carl Edwards Jr. .133
Rosell Herrera .128
Isaac Galloway .125
Neil Walker .120
Jose Urena (P) .069
Kris Bryant .058
Willson Contreras -.004
Kyle Schwarber -.017
Kyle Hendricks (H) -.040
Daniel Descalso -.043
Addison Russell -.048
Martin Prado -.054
Albert Almora -.075
Brian Anderson -.080
Jose Urena (H) -.087
Miguel Rojas -.092
Steve Cishek -.094
Javy Baez -.105
Kyle Ryan -.115
Peter O’Brien -.116
Curtis Granderson -.182
Granderson went 0-for-5 from the plate and watched his average drop to a bottom-scraping .168. He scored the first inning run after reaching on an error, but didn’t do anything else resembling any sort of positive impact.
Jon Berti -.182
Berti had the bad luck to bunt the ball high in the air in an effort to move Rosell Herrera from first to second with nobody out in the 10th inning. In a heads-up play, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo let the ball bounce first, stepped on the bag, and fired to SS Javier Baez to author a signature twin killing.
David Bote -.221
Both grounded into a double play in the second inning for .083 negative WPA. In the fourth, he got to base on a fielders choice, but Baez was called out at home on the play, for a -.063 impact. Bote later grounded out in the seventh and struck out to lead off the 10th.
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Jorge Alfaro -.248
Alfaro had negative impacts in each of his five plate appearances, and let the game-tying run score on a passed ball.
Jose Quijada -.367
Quijada faced only one batter, offering up three strikes and one ball before serving up a 93 MPH fastball that Heyward put over the fence for his sixth of the season.
The Miami Marlins get another shot at the win column today at 2:20 ET. Trevor Richards will make his eighth start of the season, but is still looking for his first victory.
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