Cubs will avoid their fourth 100-loss season in history
Chicago’s 2-1 victory on Tuesday evening in Miami was their 63rd win of the year, assuaging fears this Cubs team would lose 100 games this year. It did not exactly come down to the wire, with 14 games to spare after the win, but, regardless, they avoided it.
The reason this is noteworthy is because mid-season, there were some serious concerns about just how many losses this club would rack up. Back on June 21 they already had 43 losses and were in the middle of an awful stretch. Since the All-Star break, however, the Cubs have played .500 ball.
The 2022 Chicago Cubs were happy to not join this exclusive club
1962, 1966 and 2012 mark the only years the Cubs lost at least 100 games in team history. It was exactly a decade ago when the Cubs lost 101 games in the first year of the Theo Epstein regime. That team had Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Jeff Samardzija as their building blocks, with a mix of aging veterans and minor leaguers filling in much of the roster. Despite the 101 losses, they did not finish in last place; that dishonor went to the 107-loss Houston Astros.
It is still truly amazing how the 1966 Cubs lost 103 games with Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Fergie Jenkins on the team. One would think a team with four Hall of Famers mostly in their primes would at least win 70+ games, even if the supporting cast was not there. Santo was an 8.5 fWAR player with a 157 wRC+ that year. Jenkins did mostly pitch out of the pen that year, with only 12 of his 60 appearances being starts. The Cubs followed 1966 with an 87-win season in 1967, a massive 28-game swing.
The 1962 Cubs also had four Hall of Famers as regulars and lost 103 games, but swap Jenkins out for Lou Brock. Banks slugged 37 home runs and Williams made his first All-Star team. They followed up the 1962 season with a 82-80 campaign in 1963, their first winning season since 1946.
Celebrating not losing 100 games feels really gross, and it is less than a celebration but more of a relief. There have been points this season where they felt like a 100-loss team. Hopefully next year we are not even close to wondering if it’s a possibility.