10 Quick Cubs Stats

Here are 10 quick Cubs stats that you may not have known thus far into the 2012 campaign:

Batting

  • There are 22 MLB players who have batted third in 15+ games; only five have yet to hit a home run, Castro being one of them.
  • As a team, the Cubs best day to hit is Saturday (.269 AVG in 3 games) and their worst is Wednesday (.190 AVG in 2 games).
  • The Cubs have 12 SB in 9-inning games; four of which have come in the 8th inning alone. This accounts for 33% of all successful stolen bases by the Cubs.
  • Although the Cubs are batting only .218 with RISP (6th worst in the league), they have 59 runs with RISP, which is the 10th most in the league.
  • The Cubs are the second worst team to bat with two outs; .187 AVG in 182 AB.

Pitching

  • The Cubs are one of three teams who have one or fewer SV (tied for 28th in the league); they also only have had four SVO (tied for second fewest in the league).
  • The starting pitchers for the Cubs have allowed six ER with a combined ERA of 6.75 when the pitch count is between 91-105.
  • The Cubs pitching staff has allowed 28 ER when there are two outs in an inning.
  • When the pitching staff is ahead in the count, the combined ERA is 2.40; opposed to a 7.45 ERA when they are behind in the count.
  • The Cubs starting pitchers are one of only two teams to have seven losses and seven no-decisions (PIT has seven losses and eight no-decisions).

The more you know…

First Roster Move of 2012 Season

In an expected move, the Cubs traded CF Marlon Byrd to the Boston Red Sox for RHP Michael Bowden (RP). The move signaled an important stepping stone for the 2012 season and beyond: Theo Epstein and company are watching the season and are willing to make moves.

Epstein’s rebuilding theme has continued into the first month of the 2012 season. He moved an aging Byrd, who is struggling this season, for a young relief pitcher in a system which is in dire need of bullpen help. The move is encouraging as many fans agree that Byrd is on the decline of his career and the team needs to build for the future. With the glaring focus beginning with the bullpen.

The Cubs bullpen carries a dismal 4.63 ERA (26th in the league), allowing 24 ER (6th most in the league), issuing 29 walks (tied for 3rd most in the league), a WHIP of 1.56 (26th in the league) and is credited with 5 loses (tied for 2nd most in the league). Had the bullpen not blown those leads, the Cubs would be 9-7, 2nd place in the NL Central and giving the Brewers and Reds both an additional loss, rather than wins.

Epstein and Ricketts know the numbers as well, this being why they made the trade and were willing to swallow a large portion of Byrd’s remaining contract. The organization is focused on the future; something many fans of the Cubs are not accustom to.

This move should be an indicator of additional issues the Cubs ownership should be addressing sometime within this season, such as:

    • The lack of a power hitter – The team is ranked last in the entire league for home runs hit with five (5). Even the Pirates have hit more home runs, who boast the worse offense in the league. Many fans are pleading for Rizzo and Jackson to be called up to the majors, but Gordon Wittenmyer interviewed Epstein who indicated the organization is waiting to move either player to the majors. Brian Davis and Andy Behrens further suggest the organization should wait to move either player with statistical analysis to support their reasoning. These reports would indicate Epstein and his staff will look at possible trades throughout the season to solve this problem.
    • An aging roster – The Cubs roster has eight players who are over the age of 30; six of which will be over the age of 35 before the All-Star break. Young promising talent is crucial for the development of this ball club within the next three years and into the next decade. Epstein developed such a talent pool in Boston and will likely carry on this tradition within the Cubs organization. The trade of Byrd was the first step in this direction.

It’s encouraging to see the organization recognize glaring problems and addressing them within the first month of a long season. I’m certain the ownership will continue to make moves to improve the Cubs in the years moving forward.

Only time will tell.

It’s Tough Being a Cubs’ Fan…

We as Cubs’ fans have learned through the years that it’s tough being a fan of our beloved team. From the longest non-championship drought in sports history, the countless number of losing seasons, the humiliating defeats, the bitter taste of the 2003 NLDS; the list is endless. But on personal level, the toughest part of being a Cubs’ fan is the constant trash talking.

I’m not talking about the meaningless banter of “the Cubs suck” or “the Cubs’ fans are losers.” I’m referring to the trash talking that is based on facts, especially from fans of winning teams.

Being that I live in Kentucky, I unfortunately work with a lot of fans from the NL Central. Fans of the Cardinals and Reds are strongly represented throughout my work place and I am not a closet Cubs fan, which comes at a price.

The typical water cooler sports talk involves the latest news of our teams, which I unfortunately am very limited with reporting positive news of the Cubs. But I have enlightened others to the performance of the starting pitchers, the play of a few players and the development of the AAA players. But the razing quickly ensues.

Comments like: “the Cubs have been rebuilding for 103 years,” “the last time the Cubs won the World Series [insert factual information from the early 1900’s here],”the Cardinals have won 11 World Series since the Cubs won their last,” etc. There is nothing I can retort with and all these statements are true facts!

But, as I have for the past 20 plus years being a Cubs fan, I remain loyal, faithful, committed and hopeful of our Cubs. I take the jabs on the chin and appreciate the clever, thoughtfulness of some comments, and keep on trucking. This is why Cubs fans are the best fans in the world.

So while the Cubs may lose 100 plus games this season and cause us to hang our heads in humility, I’ll continue to support our Cubs and patiently wait for the Cubs to end this amazingly embarrassing losing streak.

In Theo we trust!

My Cubs’ Pledge

I have read many discussions of pledges Cubs’ fans will make for the 2012 season through the Master Card “Priceless Chicago” campaign. But an article written by Sarah Spain (Sports Center Anchor for Chicago’s ESPN1000 and a reporter for ESPNChicago.com) inspired me to make a pledge as well.

Spain’s article, Fans tie on-field success with off-field antics, makes a personal pledge to run a mile for every Cubs’ win by the end of the season. This pledge encourages her to regain the status of being a runner after being laid off due to injury. I suggested to Spain that she incorporate a charity fund-raiser; some monetary donation for the miles she runs, etc. But if I’m willing to make a suggestion for a pledge, shouldn’t I be willing to do the same?

For every Cubs’ win during the 2012 season, I pledge to:

1) Run 1 mile. I will complete these miles from the end of the Cubs’ season to the beginning of the 2013 season.

2) Donate $2/win to the following charities: the Wood Family Foundation, Dempster Family Foundation and a charity of Paul Maholm’s choosing.

3) If by some miracle the Cubs’ win the World Series, I will donate $500 to each of the above charities.

I encourage all of you to make a pledge of some sort to the Cubs’ 2012 season. Further, I encourage fellow Cubs’ fans to support these charities by making some sort of donation (either on your own or through my pledge).

If the Cubs’ end this terrible 103 season streak, my bank account will be a little lighter…

Go Cubs, Go!