After an opening series split with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs now sit at 1-1.
Jon Lester struggled on Opening Night, but nobody expects his performance to be a problem going forward. Fellow starter Jake Arrieta was brilliant in game two, and looks to be primed to build on his success from last season. The bullpen has been lights out through two games, by not allowing a single run and only two hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The pitching has been very impressive in the early going. The offense however, has not. The Cubs were able to scrape together two runs on Wednesday to take home the 2-0 victory, but those were the only two runs scored in the first two games of the season.
They have only seven hits on the season, with their 1-for-17 mark with runners in scoring position sticking out as the main issue. The Cubs’ offense has been anemic through two games, but let’s not panic.
On Opening Night, the Cubs were blanked by one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he finished second and third respectively in National League voting. Wainwright is clearly one of the better pitchers of this generation, as he is going to put up a lot of zeros on the board against many teams this season.
On Opening Night, the Cubs were blanked by one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Adam Wainwright is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he finished second and third respectively in National League Cy Young voting. Wainwright is clearly one of the better pitchers of this generation, as he is going to put up a lot of zeros on the board against many teams this season.
In the second game, the Cubs were shut down for six innings by Cardinals’ right-hander Lance Lynn. While Lynn does not have the pedigree of Wainwright, he is one of the most underrated pitchers in the National League.
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Lynn is coming off of a 2014 season where he posted a 2.74 ERA in 203 2/3 innings pitched. He is a very reliable pitcher who the Cubs have struggled with in the past. While the Cubs did pick up the win, they only had two hits in doing so. Not ideal, but I am not worried, Lynn is a good pitcher.
With so many young players in the lineup, we all knew that the Cubs offense was going to be streaky this season. Sure, a lineup featuring Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and eventually Kris Bryant can scary to face, but there is a lot of uncertainty there as well.
There will be games where the Cubs look like they have the best offense in the big leagues, but as we have seen, there will be games where they look like the worst.
On top of the Cardinals throwing two difficult pitchers to face against the Cubs, and the expected inconsistency of the line-up, the first two games of the season were very cold. While pitchers do not exactly love pitching in cold weather, it is much tougher for the hitter.
Keep in mind that the Cardinals only scored three runs in this two-game set. These cold early season games are very tough for offensive players, no matter who they are. As the weather warms up, so will the bats.
The Cubs will now travel west to take on the Colorado Rockies in a weekend series. Coors Field is traditionally a very hitter friendly ballpark, and the weather is expected to be much warmer in Colorado than it has been in Chicago.
I fully expect the Cubs’ offense to explode in Coors Field, and this worry about their offensive abilities to quiet for now.
The Cubs are a very talented team, but as with any young team, expect inconsistency. I am not trying to make excuses for the Cubs’ lack of offense through the first two games of the season, but there were factors that worked against them.
Stay calm, the best is yet to come, and I expect to see a glimpse of it this weekend against the Rockies.