What’s Good After Week One?

As we come to the closing of the first week in the 2012 MLB season, many Cubs’ fans are disheartened by the team’s performance thus far.  Realistically, the Cubs’ record should be 3-2; however, after two blown leads by the bullpen occurring twice in the 8th inning, the Cubs sit at 1-4.  But I’m here to provide support to my fellow fans, and hopefully give a glimmer of hope for the direction the organization is headed.  Let’s look at the areas in which the team has performed well in after week one:

Starting Pitching:

  • Granted, the efforts of Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm are still fresh in everyone’s mind, the Cubs rotation has looked decent.  Dempster, Garza and Samardzija have pitched strong performances in their season debuts, protecting the team’s late game leads to only have the bullpen give it away. Here are the numbers compared to the league:
    • Strike Outs: 1st (31)
    • WHIP: 4th (0.96)
    • HR: 5th (5)
    • IP: 6th (31.1)
    • OPP AVG: 7th (.196)
    • Runs:  9th (15)
    • ERA: 15th (3.73)

Aggressive Base Running:

  • Besides the gaff by Mather representing the tying run during the season opener by being thrown out at home, the Cubs have been running the bases smarter and harder. The Cubs led the league in triples (3) and are ranked 17th in doubles (6). Fans have noticed the hustle down the first base line by Cubs’ batters, even when the play is a routine out; we are very appreciative of the efforts.
  • After finishing the 2011 season ranked 28th in the MLB in Stolen Bases (69), the Cubs are currently ranked 2nd with 5. At this point, the Cubs are averaging one stolen base per game and are on pace to amass 162 stolen bases for the season.

Defensive Play:

  • From Ian Stewart’s throw from his knees to Soriano laying out to in left field, the Cubs have looked better defensively.  They are tied second in the league for fewest errors committed (2), tied fifth in the league for base runners caught stealing (2), and are tied seventh in the league for fielding percentage (.989).  Every fielder is making smart throws, hitting the cutoff man and moving around the diamond effectively in support of each position.

So Cubs’ fans, not everything is terrible with start of this season. Yes, the team has only one win, but remember, this team is rebuilding and moving in the right direction. The on field play proves this. Just like the show, the numbers never lie…

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2 comments

  1. kmgregus

    You can actually blame Joe Mather being thrown out was actually not Mather’s fault. Dale Sveum called for a contact play. Blame the batter, who I believe was Jeff Baker. He hit it exactly where he shouldn’t have-hard at a third baseman playing in. It’s a play that the Cubs will run again, especially since they lack power. But playing into your post, you can chalk that up to the Cubs being more aggressive on the bases.

    • helms83

      Very true and I guess I should clarify that in the post. I wasn’t claiming that Mather being thrown out at home was his fault. My perception on effective base running includes the base runner, the base coach, the coaches call and the execution of the batter. Mather did exactly what he was suppose to do; but his head down and charge home. Baker hit a soft grounder to third and Sveum and the base coach had told Mather to run on contact. Thanks for the comments and clarification!

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