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Cubs Losing One-Run At A Time

By bullpenbrian at 06.05.2012 2 comments.

The chart below details the results of 10 recent Cubs games. See the common thread?

at Brewers

7-8

at Cardinals

6-7

Phillies

7-8

White Sox

2-3

at Astros

1-2

at Pirates

0-1

at Pirates

2-3

at Giants

3-4

at Giants

1-2

at Giants

2-3

These are games the Cubs lost by one run, one lousy run. In fact, Chicago has not won a one-run contest in nearly a month, not since defeating Atlanta 1-0 at Wrigley Field on May 9.

A 3-2 setback vs. San Francisco on Monday stretched the streak to 10-consecutive one-run losses. The franchise record is 11-straight one-run defeats—set in 1915.

For the season the Cubs are a dreadful (6-14) in one-run games. That means nearly 40% of all games have been decided by one single run. One run!

To further the point, the Cubs are (10-19) in games decided by two or fewer runs, which heightens our frustrations knowing 53% of the all the regular season games have been close enough to win—but the Cubs have largely failed to capitalize.

It shouldn’t be ignored the Cubs bullpen has blown eight games, several of the one-run variety. But cut that number in half and Chicago (18-36) still sports one of the worst overall records in the league. 

All things considered, we can sum-up the Cubs season with two thoughts:

1. The Cubs starting pitching has been good enough to keep games close.

2. The Cubs offense scores just enough runs to lose.

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2 Comments

  1. Seeing it in writing makes it seem even worse. It does seem, however, that in a good majority of those games we tacked on numerous runs against sub-par relievers in 9th inniing non-save situations. Not sure of the actual stats on that, just seemed worth pointing out… Also not sure if it’s a positive or negative. One could take it either way. On one hand we aren’t doing the damage against the elite arms of the game, but hey- at least we’re showing a lot of fight to the end each game. Feels like we’re not as far away as the record and the losing streaks would suggest.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Good comment. Valid points, Chris. Thanks for sharing.

      I recently published a post speaking of the Cubs knack for scoring too late with the game out of hand. It does tweek the numbers a bit, but from what I gather, it did little to effect the 1-run statistics.

      I agree it’s encouraging the guys are showing some fight til the end, but simply said…the Cubs just don’t score enough when it matters most–against starters before the ninth inning!

      No one is confusing the Cubs for a competitive team, but your observation about the Cubs being better than its (18-36) record is spot-on. Aside from the 12-game losing streak (that’s kind of funny), this team has shown improvement over last season in areas that do matter but don’t always show up in the box score: they’re playing smarter baseball with good effort and doing the most with what little roster talent they have this year.

      It gives us little to hang out hats on as fans, but setting good habits is the foundation for building a winner once the talent arrives, which we all hope is sooner than later.

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