After starting the season 4-11, things looked bleak as ever for the Chicago Cubs. Fans all over the country had that feeling of, here we go again. Surprisingly though, in the next 15 games, the Cubs have gone 8-7.
Now, 8-7 for most teams is not good, for the Cubs however, especially this year’s team, it is. After a win today against the Atlanta Braves, the Cubs sit at 13-18, 6.5 games out of 1st in the Central.
When you look at the fact that Carlos Marmol blew 3 saves, it shows that the Cubs are basically playing .500 ball so far. For a team that has no expectations, that’s not too bad.
Slowly but surely, you can see the pieces coming together in Chicago. The starting pitching has been outstanding, with the exception of Chris Volstad, everyone else has taken care of business. Ryan Dempster has the lowest ERA in the National League at 1.02, while both Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm have notched 4 wins a piece.
The bullpen is certainly a work in progress, but is settling in with Rafael Dolis and James Russell working the 9th. Kerry Wood has been the worst of all the bullpen guys this season, but I’m confident he will get it going. Wood is 34, and didn’t really have a Spring Training. He’s already spent time on the DL, so it’s going to to take him awhile to get to full strength.
As for the offense, they’re getting better too. Bryan LaHair has obviously carried the load so far in the power department, with 8 home runs and 18 RBI, while batting .384. Starlin Castro is tied for 1st in the NL with 43 hits and batting .359. Clearly, both would be All-Star selections at their current pace.
So what does this mean for the Cubs and their fans?
All I can say for sure, is don’t give up on this team yet. It’s a “Moneyball” type of team, one that won’t come together over night. It’s going to take more time and patience for this team to take full shape.
If and when the Cubs do peak, will they be good enough to make any noise? At this point I’d say no, there’s just not enough star power, but it remains to be seen if more stars could develop.
Overall, I like what I’ve seen in the Cubs over the past 16 games. Players are finding their roles, and performance is trending upward. After 31 games with this team, I’ll take it.