The Chicago Cubs remain a juggernaut in the NL Central

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Everything is fine

Talk to most Cubs fans, and they will dispel the rumor the team is lacking in production. As the club is coming off their fourth straight 90+ win season, who can blame them? A disastrous number of factors played into the Cubs losing the division on the final day of the season.

First, Kris Bryant missed 59 games due to a shoulder injury, which incidentally also forced him to change his swing, zapping his power. Second, the team only got 40 innings out of prized free-agent acquisition Yu Darvish before he was also shelved for the remainder of the year. In the time Darvish was healthy, he posted an 11.7% walk rate and 4.86 FIP. Not the numbers of a $126 million man.

Next, Willson Contreras experienced a complete and utter meltdown in the second half of last season. He slashed just .200/.291/.294 and struck out at a 24.6% clip. Lastly, the team was without closer Brandon Morrow for the final three months of the regular season due to injury. Morrow was sitting at an outstanding 1.47 ERA in his first 30 2/3 innings.

Joe Maddon and the Cubs experienced many adverse factors throughout the regular season and won 95 games. While the run to a fourth straight NLCS was cut short by Kyle Freeland and the Rockies, understanding where the Cubs sat heading into the final day paints a picture of utter amazement it didn’t end up worse with their season derailed.