Only the lowly Athletics have been worse than the Cubs in the last 30 days

Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Panicking this early in the season can be perceived as a knee-jerk reaction, but when your team (in this case, the Chicago Cubs) has played as poorly as they have for a sustained stretch, it's cause for concern regardless.

Just how bad has David Ross' club been? Well, over the last 30 days, they've been the worst team in all of Major League Baseball with one glaring exception: the bottom feeders known as the Oakland Athletics.

The good news (if you're a glass half-full type of person), is that the other four NL Central teams exist in that bottom third of the league, which has played a role in the Cubs somehow staying in the hunt despite this tough stretch. Thankfully, Chicago plays in arguably the worst division in baseball and are just five games out of the division despite being six games under .500 entering Monday's off-day.

Cubs hoping for summertime surge following disappointing stretch

Despite strong starts from Marcus Stroman (3.05 ERA in 10 GS), Justin Steele (2.20 ERA in 10 GS) and Drew Smyly (2.86 ERA in 9 GS), issues in the bullpen and the offense's inability to scratch across that pivotal run in close games (2-10 in one-run games) have snowballed a bit, casting a pall over the team as we approach Memorial Day weekend.

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A lot of the peripherals suggest the Cubs' record should be dramatically better than it is. Perhaps that means that, over the course of the season, things even out a bit and we're talking about an improved situation as the summer months wear on. But this is a results-based business and, right now, the results just aren't there.