The Chicago Cubs have sent their fans on an emotional rollercoaster so far this season. The highs and lows of an MLB season have truly been a grind in 2019.
Every baseball fan, and especially Chicago Cubs fans know about the grind of the 162 games in a Major League baseball season. Day in and day out watching your favorite team living and dying with every pitch. There are going to be awesome moments and some genuinely gut-wrenching moments through the season.
The 2019 Cubs have seemed to take that to another level. This season to this point has indeed been a grind for everyone involved with the Cubs. From the front office to the coaches, players, and even the fans.
The inconsistency of the 2019 Cubs seemed to start in the offseason when the glaring weakness of the team was the bullpen. It looked obvious that the Cubs front office would make a move for a capable bullpen arm, but that was not the case. Then after trading Tommy La Stella, we needed to add a veteran bench player to fill his role. The Cubs went with Daniel Descalso, and we all know how that turned out.
As we all know the Cubs road struggles at this point in the season but this started back during the first week of the season. After an opening day win on the road, things went bad. The Cubs started on the first road trip 2-7, and the bullpen was not good in those games. Which was so frustrating as a fan because we all knew that was a weakness going into the season.
Then from about Mid-April to Mid-May where almost everything seemed to click. The offense was firing on all cylinders. Nearly every player was on pace to surpass the previous season home run totals. The bullpen had looked good. Some of the highlights of that month were the week of walk-offs the Cubs had. Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward, and Willson Contreras all had walk-off home runs. Things looked fixed, and the Cubs were rolling.
Then came the middle of June, and it looked like a different team again. They went on a road trip out West, and the road struggles continued. They had a 2-5 road trip to Colorado and Los Angeles. The Cubs went 14-15 during June which was the first losing month they had since 2017. During June was when the Cubs signed free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel, which was a considerable boost to add a guy like that to a team that desperately needed a lockdown guy.
After the All-Star break, the Cubs opened up with a nine-game homestand which is just what they needed. They went 7-2 in those games, and things looked like they were fixed once again. But then they had to go back on the road trip where they went 3-6.
Now on the current road trip, they are still on that started in Cincinnati. They split the four-game series behind a big three-run Kris Bryant homer in the finale of that series. That felt like it might have been a turning point on the road and yet again it wasn’t.
Everything seemed to boil over in the last game against Philadelphia. Up 5-0 going into the eighth inning when everything seemed to go wrong. Bad defensive plays in the ninth which lead to a Bryce Harper walk-off grand slam.
The Chicago Cubs have a .683 winning percentage at home which is second in the NL, but then on the road, they have a .383 winning percentage which is 14th in the NL. There is no answer to why this team is so much better at home than on the road.
And after the bullpen let another slip away in the series opener against Pittsburgh? They need to get on it, and now.
With all this, the Chicago Cubs are just one game back behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals. There is time to turn this crazy season of inconsistency around, and it starts with the next two games against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
*Stats do not include the Pittsburgh game on 8/16