All six games the Cubs have played this season have been decided by three or fewer runs, including Wednesday’s 2-1 loss against Milwaukee.
On one hand it speaks to the Cubs solid starting pitching. On the other, it’s remarkable games have stayed so close with Chicago’s bullpen ranked dead last in the National League.
But it unquestionably shines light on how punch-less the offense has been thus far. The Cubs have scored 19 total runs–right at three per game–with a .221 team batting average and .140 mark with RISP.
In fact, Milwaukee felt so confident they could outslug the Cubs this afternoon they rested three regulars–Ryan Braun, Corey Hart & Jonathan Lucroy. And it worked thanks to backup catcher George Kottaras’ messily two-run homer.
With this Cubs season focused so intently on finding the silver linings, I’m predicting we’ll be experts on the subject come the All Star break.
At the moment, that sliver of hope is Chicago’s starting rotation–aside from Paul Maholm’s one bad outing, of course. And good starting pitching, we know, is at the top of the list of being competitive.
Less than 10 games into the season, however, there’s hardly any option but to channel more patience to see if, or when, the bullpen and lineup can get straightened out.
Until then it’s become perfectly clear the Cubs are painfully close to being a .500 team than they are to being tied for the league’s worst record (1-5).