Chicago Cubs: Bullpen actually isn’t this team’s Achilles’ Heel

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber has been among hitters to struggle with RISP

In 2019, the Cubs have had two different long (seemingly endless to fans and players, no doubt) stretches where they’ve gone hitless with runners in scoring position. They had a stretch from May 9 through May 12 where they were 0-for-28 with RISP, and then this most recent streak (through Friday night) at 0-for-25. According to Elias (through Jesse Rogers), the Cubs are the only MLB team to have two such streaks this year.

While it’s also a product of getting so many guys on base, they’re also eighth-worst (all stats going into Saturday night, unless otherwise noted) in baseball in terms of total runners left on per game, at 14.78 by individual and 7.38 per game as a team (third-worst in baseball).

That means that while they’re getting lots of runners on base, they’re leaving a small village on base every single game, whether you count by individual player not coming through when it’s their turn, or as a team leaving runners standing on base to end an inning.

As noted, the Cubs have struggled through an awful stretch with runners in scoring position the past week that saw them go 0-for-25, but also bookend that with a 1-for-5 against the Reds last Sunday and a 1-for-4 Saturday night against the Cardinals. The hit that broke this latest streak, by the way, was a bunt single by Daniel Descalso that luckily got by Andrew Miller but didn’t score anyone, as it loaded the bases before Kris Bryant‘s fielder’s choice scored one (not on a hit). Not exactly a confidence-inspiring breakout.