Playoff odds are now less than 2%. And while I respect those who refuse to believe we can not turn the season around, the odds tell us everything a prudent man or woman needs to know. We have a very good pitching staff. However, we rank 26th out of 30 teams in runs scored. To make matters worse, we have a losing record against the 3 teams beneath us that we have played. Let's look at some glaring statistics that might help identify where we have problems.
We're 6th in DP hit into and 30th in SB. That should tell us we are terribly slow and that Lou is not using the hit and run very often. We have the 5th lowest sOPS+. And even with Castro and Colvin, we have the 7th highest batters age. The wind blows in 58% of the time at Wrigley and blows out only 26%. Yet we have built a team of bangers.
"We have a fly-ball hitting team and it doesn't really help when the wind is blowing in a lot," Piniella said. "It helps the other team, too, we understand that.
"(But) we don't have the quickest team, so getting the ball up into the air and letting it sail out into the stands or over the stands is good for us."
This should tell us that our reliance on power hitters isn't appropriate. Who constructed this team and why? It reminds me of a basketball team built upon large immobile front court players. The other problem is that those guys demand larger salaries while having a positive impact only 26% of the time.
There is a stat that identifies success in certain situations. The splits are remarkable for the Cubs. In high leverage games we rank 26th. In medium leverage we're 27th. Yet in low leverage games, we rank 4th. Can you say choke?
Two years ago the Reds hired Walt Jocketty. He has helped build a team that leads the Central and has scored the 4th most runs in the majors. He has replaced five position players since he arrived. Their team payroll is $68M versus $146M for the Cubs. Obviously a good GM can work wonders for a team. Contrary wise it shows how a bad GM can cripple the team. Hendry is that bad GM. And while Lou has lost all respect as a manager, the real fault lies with JH. This team needs to embark on a new vision of athletic players who can run, field and hit line drives.