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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Hope springs eternal in this great game

Baseball is one of the best sports for burying the past. Aren’t happy with your last pitch? Throw a better one. Aren’t happy with your last at-bat? Have a better one two innings later. Lost a game? Win tomorrow. Even if things are going poorly for a team or a player, a hot streak or winning streak could be right around the corner.

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Regardless of the RISP woes, the Chicago Cubs are still one of the best offensive clubs in baseball by just about any measure. They hit, they walk, they work at-bats, they hit home runs and score runs at a really high rate. If you’re an optimistic fan, it’s not hard to convince yourself that the Cubs’ woes with RISP are just an aberration over the course of a really long 162 game season.

The Cubs lead baseball with 4.29 walks drawn per game and also lead baseball in being hit by pitch. They are third in on-base percentage with a .345 OBP.

The truly scary thing is, despite those horrific streaks where it seems no one can hit the broad side of a barn, the Cubs still rank seventh in all of baseball in runs scored per game, at 5.25.

If you’re looking for hope and don’t want to look too far to find it, look no further than Chicago’s own hitting earlier this season. To start the year (the first 32 games), the team hit .284 with RISP and looked like a juggernaut. Those players are still playing and the ability is still in there; it’s just a matter of waiting for the next heatwave.

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Rather than be a Debbie Downer, I’d like to think the Cubs are too good to look this bad for much longer with RISP. With a couple of hot streaks and some confidence building knocks in clutch spots, maybe the tides will turn and the numbers will return back to at least normal levels for all the Cubs’ hitters.