Chicago Cubs: Early lack of offense isn’t a concern for Maddon

Apr 6, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber (12) is congratulated by left fielder Jon Jay (30) after hitting a three run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals as left fielder Matt Szczur (20) looks on in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber (12) is congratulated by left fielder Jon Jay (30) after hitting a three run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals as left fielder Matt Szczur (20) looks on in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs have not scored a ton through the 2017 season’s first five games. Despite this being true, fans should not be concerned just yet.

Although the Chicago Cubs have played just a few games this season, the team already has fans concerned. Although the Cubs finally broke through for 11 runs against the Brewers on Saturday night, it’s still been a struggle to start the season.

In their first four games, the Cubs scored three runs, two runs, six runs and one run, respectively. They scored 11 in last nights alone. In those first four games, the team put together eight, five, ten and six hits, respectively. Essentially, the team has had a difficult time bringing men in after they reach base.

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While the lack of scoring is something to be concerned about, it is not something to worry about this early on. Five games are far too small of a sample size to concern fans. In fact, there are several good reasons why the Cubs inability to score makes sense.

Playing conditions not ideal

On the one hand, April is a cold month temperature-wise, which gives pitchers several advantages over hitters. While the Cubs have not played a home game just yet, fly balls tend to travel further in the summer than in cold-weather months.

At the same time, though, a pitcher constantly is moving on the mound, whereas hitters are stationary in the dugout. Pitchers obviously have to deal with the cold weather just like hitters do. However, getting into the batter box cold presents a disadvantage when a pitcher is working up a sweat on the mound.

While the Cubs are playing in a climate-controlled stadium this weekend, their first series was in the natural outdoors. However, the weather is not the only reason that offense has been coming at a premium thus far.

If science is not to blame, what is?

Because it is so early in the season, teams can line up their starting rotations as they see fit. For example, the Cubs decided to push Jon Lester’s second start back from Sunday to Monday. Over the past season or so, the Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled to hit left-handed pitching.

Pushing Lester back one day is just one example of how pitching matchups have affected offenses so far. The Cubs have had to face their opponent’s best starting pitchers so far. For example, the St. Louis Cardinals had their top three starters pitch against the Cubs to open the year.

Facing an opponent’s best is no excuse for lack of offensive production. To be a great team, the Cubs will have to beat the best opponents. They were able to beat the Cardinals two out of three times, which is a good sign.

While the Brewers fourth starter pitched Friday and their fifth starts Saturday, the Cubs will face their “ace” in Zach Davies on Sunday. In a nutshell, the Cubs have faced quality pitchers quite often to open the season. All in all, the biggest reason behind the Cubs’ lack of offense might be the simplest one.

The Cubs are the defending World Series champions, a title that carries a target on the team’s back. There is no statistical evidence to prove it, but opponents tend to play harder against such teams. Also, the Cubs have only played division rivals so far, meaning each game matters in the long-term playoff race.

Next: Brewers won't be Cubs' punching bag for long

One must not overlook a couple of games without a tremendous amount of offense. The MLB season just began and the Cubs offense is loaded with stars. Look for the team to put together more consistent scoring sooner rather than later.