Chicago Cubs learning about the humbling nature of America’s pastime
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: Digging a hole early in the year
Everyone expected the Cubs to just keep rolling. The team dominated last August, going 22-6 to pull away from the pack in the division. September fared well for Chicago, as well. The team went 17-10 in the season’s final month.
The postseason speaks for itself. Time and time again, the club rallied or delivered with its back against the ball. So why shouldn’t we expect that in 2017? The roster remained almost exclusively intact. Joe Maddon is back at the helm.
But, instead, Chicago sputtered, going 43-45 heading into the All-Star Break. Compare that to a 53-35 mark the season prior and it’s easy to see why the team has been fighting for its playoff hopes the entire second half.
What was to blame?
The Cubs ranked 11th in the league in runs scored in the first half. The team ranked 10th in OPS, while the pitching staff held its own with a 4.05 ERA. That ranked fifth in the National League. The offense hardly represented its former self. Oh, and the team had one All-Star – closer Wade Davis.