Thursday, May 3, 2007

Cubs need to improve in one-run games

The title seems a bit obvious, since the Cubs are 0-6 in one run games.

Upon seeing that we're second in the division with 127 runs scored and second in the league having allowed just 98 runs, we shouldn't be under .500 and 5 1/2 games out of first place. The first place thing has to do with the fact that the best team in baseball so far is in our division and that'll change. The Brewers are good, but they're not that good. But, according to the Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball, the Cubs should currently have 16.3 wins, not 12.

So, what's the issue?

The bullpen hasn't been all that bad, actually. Cotts hasn't allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings, while Wuertz has allowed just two runs in 14 1/3 innings. Dempster is 5-for-5 in saves and believe it or not, the bullpen as a whole has blown only three saves, while Wuertz, Ohman, and Howry have combined for seven holds. That's a holds adjusted save percentage of 80% as a team!

The problem seems to be the timing of our runs. Much like Sosa and a lot of his homeruns, we seem to be scoring when it doesn't really matter and we can't score when we need them (back to the 0-6 one run record).

We've scored six or more runs on 9 different occasions so far and we are 9-0. That's good. But we've also managed to lose six games when the opponent has scored four or fewer runs.

The Cubs may not be clutch hitters, but there's one thing I know about baseball. These things will even out, or at least they're supposed to. The Brewers should be 15-12 according to the Pythagorean Theorem, but they're 5-2 in one-run games. So Cub fans can take joy in the fact that according to Bill James, we should be leading the Brewers (and trail only New York in the entire NL).

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