The Cubs are in Trouble

The Cubs offense has been great, but the bullpen has been pathetic and will continue to cost them games if something doesn’t change.

Image from the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Cubs are not in a good place right now. Five games into the season, they have a record of 1-4.

Now, I realize it is only five games into the season, so its not time to hit the panic button just yet, but they certainly have reason to worry.

First, let’s look at the bright spots here. Through those five games, they have scored 32 runs. That means they are averaging almost six and a half runs a game. The offense looks fantastic right now, and it appears that they are safe when it comes to the offensive side of the ball.

The starting pitching hasn’t been bad either. Now, it certainly hasn’t been great, but they can definitely win games with it. Lester has had two quality starts in a row now, with Quintana and Kendricks both providing decent winnable opportunities. Cole Hamels had a rough first outing but should be fine going forward. Yu Darvish, I really don’t know. Seven walks through 2.2 innings is unacceptable, and if something doesn’t change, the Cubs are going to need to find somebody else to take his place. Now his second year in Chicago, its time for him to work for that big contract.

Here’s the biggest issue of it all: the bullpen. Words can’t describe how awful it has been, but alas, I will try. Through 17.1 innings pitched, the bullpen has allowed 17 earned runs and 17 walks. That is not a typo. The Cubs are on average giving the opposing team a walk and a run every single inning the bullpen pitches. As a Cubs fan, you really cant accept this. They have Brad Brach, Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr., and Randy Rosario. These numbers are simply unacceptable.

Something has to give. Its easy to say that its only a few games, but the difference between winning the division and earning a wildcard spot came down to one game in 2018. Im confident that Joe Maddon will get this issue resolved, but I certainly hope it doesn’t take too much longer, because this is hard to watch.

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