We’re all aware that the Cubs offense is the team’s Achilles heel. We’re not a team famous for comeback victories. Through 89 games, we’ve come from behind only 12 times and the largest comeback was 3 runs. The Cubs have been held to 2 or fewer runs 36 of the 89 games played so far. Their record in those games is 3-33 or 30 games under. On the contrary, Cubs pitchers have held opposing teams to 2 or less runs 25 times. However, because of our poor offense, we’re only 19-6 in those games or 13 games over .500. If our offense was only league average, it would result in an improvement of 17 games. We'd be 6 games over .500 and in the thick of the race.
It all starts in the first inning. The Cubs have scored 31 runs in the first, the fewest in the NL. On the contrary, we have given up 61 runs, 13th of 16 teams. So how have our starters done in their 1st innings. Here are the numbers :
Pitcher Games Runs
Lilly 15 5
Silva 17 6
Wells 18 16
Dempster 18 11
Gorzelanny 12 10
Zambrano 9 13
Obviously, only Lilly and Silva have hit the ground running in the first inning.
As for the offense, the numbers are self explanatory. Theriot has lead off the game 52 times and Fukudome 28. In the 80 games, they have been on base only 16 times, 13 hits and only 3 walks. Between them they’ve scored only 7 runs, league worst.
What would you do differently if you were manager? Nothing is an option.