Let the Race Begin

This is the time of the year when clever folks hand out arbitrary letter grades to evaluate the first half performance of the Cubs. I prefer the cliff notes versions....underperforming bats + injuries + shaky bullpen equals .500 team despite really good starting pitching. What do the Cubs need to do in the second half? HIt like there suppose to, stay healthy, don't blow games late(don't blow them early either) and the starters need to keep pitching well.

There's some expert baseball analysis in three sentences.

I know when it comes to the Cubs it's pretty much doom and gloom until they win the World Series and while that .500 record isn't what most of us expected, it's also like judging a movie after only watching the first half. Sure, sometimes you know within the first 20 minutes if it's worth sitting through the whole thing, but sometimes there's just enough there to make you want to stick around for the ending. For the Cubs in 2009, I want to see if they can redeem the first act with a big ending(let's call it "The Usual Suspects"), unlike the 2008 Cubs which were great until the final act and ruined everything with that abomination of an ending(kind of like "Heat"). So if I were to hand out letter grades, it would be an "I" for incomplete, because judging the season on the first half doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Look, I have no idea if they're going to put it together to get in the playoffs and if they happen to do that, how they'll fare in the playoffs this time. I know there is enough talent to put a run together and the team has pretty substantially underperformed their talent level. You can blame Lou, Hendry, luck, a goat, racism, Jason Marquis (oh that was last year), or my mother, but this team is in the thick of the race and I'll take that over seasons like 2006 or (gasp) 1997.


They are in the race. And that is something to remember. The suspense is who, if anybody, will be joining them to help. I wish I felt better about the shoulder of the 3rd baseman.

...about the shoulder of tonight's pitcher.

I may drill down a little farther, and say the main culprit with the offense is .218 .326 .359 (with the nice ISO OBP being driven by 23 IBBs, but a .245 BABIP), and the main problem with the relief pitching is the remarkable 5.5 walks per 9.

STL is on pace to win 87 games. If they do, the Cubs would need to go 45-31 (.592) in their remaining games to beat them. Only 2 teams in all of the MLB have played better ball than .592 thus far this year (BOST & LAD). I am not saying it can't happen, but it is hard to think this team will just flip and switch and turn it around. Also working against the Cubs is that they are T-3 in the division with CINC only 1.5 games behind & the WC race is even uglier.

prolly so...you should stop following them.

"you should stop following them."

Why? I am a Cubs fan, win or lose (even if some like to think differently on here). If I were to quit following the Cubs because they can't win a WS, then I would have stopped years and years ago.

While this team, and organization, is very frustrating at times, I still bleed cubbie blue and can't see not ever rooting or following them.

In that case, how many times did they go 45 and 32 last year?

What does last year's team have to do with this year's team?

Thanks for playing...

Now looking at it in a optimistic light, the Cubs are only 1 game back in the loss column. Also, it is hard to imagine a few of the offensive players hitting any worse than they have so far this season. If the starting pitching can maintain their outstanding level of play and the offense can even play up to luke warm expectations, this team should be in the hunt down to the wire. And it is nice to have meaningful games in September.

NL Central since May 1st..

Cards: 33-35

Cubs: 33-32

Brewers: 33-33

Reds: 31-35

Astros: 35-31

Pirates: 27-40

So the Astros are going to win the division?

you never know...they're 24-15 since June 1st...could be another one of their annoying runs.

Johnson, Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Baker, Hill, Harden.

Good thing Harden is in the lineup - he has a better OPS against LHP than Fontenot or Hoffpauir. :)

"Look, I have no idea.... (etc.)"


Nice LouPa impression, Rob.

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  • if jeff says it, it's cool...when i say it, it's straight from the mouth of hitler.

    aside from the lack of jeff touching on the insane leads runners take and lester's inability to throw if he's fielding, this is a lot of what i've said about the issue.

    exploitable, needs his own personal catcher to control his shortcomings, relies on his ability to get outs along with his personal catcher keeping runners in check before things become further exploited...

    crunch 2 min 16 sec ago view
  • That would be Rice Krispy Treat

    The E-Man 1 hour 18 min ago view
  • "Crunch's cousin"

    Butterfinger or Baby Ruth?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • I saw the first three innings and the last three, so I didn't see Arrieta get hit. His stuff looked nasty at first...what happened? Any insight from anyone who watched?


    Tito 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • That question came from CRUNCH's cousin.

    The E-Man 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • He's definitely one of the best


    Tito 1 hour 48 min ago view
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs on Lester:

    Question: Do you think that Lester’s base-throwing yips/lack of the ability to hold runners is a big deal? He’s had a long, successful career despite this, mainly due to being good a run prevention, but it did hurt that one time vs. KC in the playoffs. Should Cubs fans be making a bigger deal out of it, or is it just not that big of a deal?

    Tito 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Miggy seemed remarkably unhappy for a guy who just won the game. Probably related to the fact that he never plays any more.

    billybucks 2 hours 32 min ago view
  • Yeah, that was the official scoring.

    billybucks 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • Classic ending, about 12:11 AM, CST. 5 hours, 3 minutes. Both teams have bases loaded, no out situations in the last inning.

    Magic #19.

    Last man on the bench, Montero gets it done.

    Cubster 10 hours 38 min ago view
  • This fucking game

    Baez lucky to not have hurt his hand with headfirst slide on play at plate in 12th inning.

    Rob G. 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • #$@!$!@$!@$#@!$@!$!@#!@!


    crunch 12 hours 40 min ago view
  • Maddon's master plan to challenge his offense to improve on coming from behind late in games is working amazingly.

    Rob G. 13 hours 12 min ago view
  • Everyone remember Starlin Castro dropping or misplaying just about every ball near second base that involved a tag?

    Javier Baez is the opposite of that.

    Rob G. 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • on the wild pitch thing, did they really call that a wild pitch on Jansen that Heyward scored on Friday? If so, I don't know what a passed ball is anymore.

    Rob G. 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • Let's see -- up 3-0, at home, Jake on the mound annnnd....compare and contrast 2015 to 2016. Bleh.

    Hopefully, the Pirates will uncork a series of 9th inning wild pitches.

    billybucks 13 hours 28 min ago view