Thursday, May 16, 2024

Cubs’ Biggest Weakness Proven By Staggering Stat


Follow our new Twitter account for real-time updates and in-depth analysis of all things Chicago Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs had a successful weekend at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. In their first division games of the season, they took two out of three games from the Milwaukee Brewers. Both clubs now sit tied at the top of the National League Central division. The Cubs have now won four of the five series played at Wrigley, the fifth being a four-game split with the Miami Marlins.

It’s safe to say the Cubs’ starting rotation carried the team this weekend. On Friday, Hayden Wesneski pitched 6.1 innings in a spot-start, striking out eight and not allowing a run. Then, Jameson Taillon pitched six shutout innings on Saturday, striking out seven. Sunday, Javier Assad closed it out with, you guessed it, six shutout innings.

Remember, the Cubs have been without their ace, Justin Steele, since Opening Day. However, what started shakey at best has turned into something remarkable. The Cubs’ starting pitching has an earned run average of 2.03 in the last seventeen games. During the season, their 3.13 ERA is good enough for them to be fourth-best in baseball.

Steele has completed his rehab and is set to return to the Cubs’ rotation on Monday against the San Diego Padres. The rotation will be shuffled, but the standard will remain. Steele is a pitcher known to give the Cubs six to seven innings of quality pitching.

Follow our new Twitter account for real-time updates and in-depth analysis of all things Chicago Cubs.

Over the last couple of weeks, the Cubs have seemed to suffer from a lack of offensive production. It’s hard to win games by scoring three runs or less, but the starting pitching has given them every opportunity to. The real weakness has come when the starter has to leave the game.

Cubs Bullpen Keeping Team From Breaking Away

Adbert Alzolay entered Friday’s game against the Brewers with one out in the eighth inning and no inherited runners. He then surrendered four singles, leading to three runs, recording just one out. He left the field to boos reigning down from the home crowd in frustration. This was Alzolay’s fifth blown save opportunity on the year and fourth recorded loss.

On Saturday, the Cubs took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning, where the ball was handed to Keegan Thompson. Thompson had been reliable on multiple occasions for the Cubs before Saturday. However, he did not record an out before the Brewers struck him with four runs (three earned) and clawed back into the ballgame.

When Hector Neris enters the ballgame, he executes his save opportunities more often than not. However, it is never quick and easy. Neris came into Saturday’s game with a two-run buffer. He gave up one run but managed to hang on to secure the save and win.

On a brighter note, Sunday could not have gone any better. Yency Almonte came into the game to relieve Javier Assad after his six-inning masterpiece and gave the Cubs two perfect innings. Daniel Palencia then got the call for the save in the ninth and executed.

The real consensus is that this bullpen was overused at the beginning of the season because the rotation lacked quality outings. Now, the rotation is giving the Cubs what they need, but the bullpen is having trouble hanging on.

Internal moves and discussions are undoubtedly being had between manager Craig Counsell and the front office. Something needs to be done if the Cubs are going to be around in October. Let’s hope they are not planning on waiting until July to make a move – there’s plenty to be had right now.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Chicago SportsNEWS
Recommended for you

Give us your thoughts.x