After that ugly headline about the Cubs' worst Opening Day loss since 1884, here is a better kind of history we made last night:
With our pitching and defense improving from 16 runs allowed in 8 innings Monday to 3 runs in 8 innings Wednesday to 0 runs in 9 innings last night, the 2010 Cubs' team RA (Run Average, including earned and unearned runs) improved from 18.00 to 10.69 Wednesday, and again from 10.69 to 6.84 last night. Those margins of RA improvement, 7.31 and 3.85, mark the first time in the 134-year history of major league baseball that a team has improved its season RA by more than 7.00 points in a game and then improved it again by more than 3.50 points in the next game.
The previous record was held by the 1925 St. Louis Browns, who gave up 21 runs on Opening Day, then 2 runs the next game and 1 run the game after that, improving their RA by 9.50 and then by 3.50. That topped the previous record of the 1912 Brooklyn Dodgers, who gave up 18 runs on Opening Day, then 2 runs each of the next two games, for RA improvements of 8.00 and 2.67.
By posting a shutout in our third game, the 2010 Cubs have surpassed those old records with a 3.85 team RA improvement following the previous game's 7.31 gain. Congratulations to Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells for leading the way to setting this all-time MLB record, and keep up the great pitching Cubbies!
For those who wish to confirm this record, data for all teams' runs scored and allowed on Opening Day and the following games can be found on the Baseball Almanac website, baseball-almanac.com.