I attended the Cubs-Pirates game today with my brother Kevin. If you missed it, Jon Lester gave up 10 runs and was pulled after getting just two outs to start the game. Although it was a terrible game to attend, it did serve as the perfect cap to a terrible first half for the Cubs.
Limping into the All-Star break, the Cubs sit at 43-45, 5.5 games back of the playoffs. They have scored 399 runs—the same number they have given up. This has to be one of the most surprising (disappointing for me) first halves of baseball in a very long time. The 2015 Nationals were the most underperforming team of recent memory; they finished the first half at 48-39.
Here is a fun list of teams with a better record than the Cubs.
- Red Sox
On June 1, the Cubs were 25-27 with the same run differential as today, 0. I wrote a post then that attempted to come up with five ways to fix the team. As I sit back in Champaign tonight, I'm not sure this season is salvageable. In my opinion, the only way to turn things around is by shaking up the roster before the deadline. After 88 games, it is clear the answer is not coming from within. Trading a position player for a young starting pitcher is the right move for this season and beyond.
The one thing I've learned after being at today's game and following the 2017 Cubs? Baseball is very, very weird.
But still great.
Baseball is here! And more importantly, that means the over/under game is back. It seems as though everyone is an expert this time of year. Somehow we convince ourselves that we are better at predicting baseball outcomes than everyone else. Well, AFITB is putting that to the test for the third year in a row. Think you know more about baseball than us? You probably do. But go ahead and prove it anyway.
Baseball is simply the best.
Can the playoffs get even better? Yes, if you play this game with us.
Not much from a team perspective
Ranking the 10 playoff teams' pitching output based on WAR
Ranking the 10 playoff teams' positional output based on WAR
Barry's last game
Remembering José one year after his passing