Cubs Collapses: What's The Reason? Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Preview, Tuesday 7/6, 8:40 CT

What is Alfonso thinking? Write your own caption.

This FanShot posted this morning, which quoted the Reds' Scott Rolen as saying Wrigley Field, day games, different game times, etc. are the Cubs' problem, provoked quite a bit of discussion.

Some of it revolved around "collapses" and the Cubs' play in September. Do the day games really wear Cub teams down? I decided to take a look. The table below shows the Cubs' record from September 1 to the end of the season in each year since 1969.

Year W-L Year W-L Year W-L Year W-L
1969 9-18 1982 15-14 1988 11-20 1998 14-11
1970 15-14 1983 12-18 1989 18-11 1999 13-18
1971 12-16 1984 16-11 1990 15-17 2000 7-22
1972 18-12 1985 15-19 1991 12-19 2001 13-15
1973 13-15 1986 15-15 1992 11-21 2002 11-16
1974 12-21 1987 10-21 1993 20-10 2003 19-8
1975 13-13 1994 - 2004 17-13
1976 15-15 1995 15-13 2005 16-13
1977 9-21 1996 9-19 2006 12-17
1978 13-18 1997 13-12 2007 17-12
1979 9-22 2008 12-12
1980 13-21 2009 18-13
1981 12-18
TOTAL 163-224 83-98 124-142 169-170

I divided the years that way for a reason. 1969, obviously, was the season everyone cites as a "collapse". I included in that group all years until the Wrigleys sold the team, through 1981. The second group is the Tribune Co. ownership before lights. The third, the group of years before the team started making playoffs on a regular basis in 1998; then, 1998 to date.

The results show... well, nothing, really. Good teams had collapses and good teams played well in September. Bad teams had worse Septembers and bad teams had good finishes. The 1977-78-79 teams, which all contended for a while, were a combined 31-61 after September 1. Fatigue? I say no -- those teams just weren't that good. In short, the conclusion that playing all (or mostly) day games in Wrigley Field with lesser player facilities causes the collapses is, I believe, false.

There is one thing that's notable from these numbers. Cub teams do play better in September now than they did in the 1970's. That may mean the night schedule is helpful -- or it may mean that they just had better teams. Scott Rolen may be right that the Cubs need better player facilities -- and I believe they will get them -- but he's wrong about the effects of the day games and the schedule. Both teams have to adjust.

What does this have to do with this year? Not much, although BCB'er memphiscub did point out that the 1982 team, which was 15-14 in September, finished 42-39 after a 31-50 start.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Silva
Carlos Silva
Cubs
vs. Barry Enright
Barry Enright
Diamondbacks
8-2 W-L 1-0
2.96 ERA 1.80
67 SO 5
15 BB 4
8 HR 0
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carlos Silva 8-2 15 15 0 0 0 0 94.1 87 33 31 8 15 67 2.96 1.08


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Barry Enright 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 4 1 1 0 4 5 1.80 1.60

Barry Enright is making his second major league start. He won his first one, on June 30 vs. the Cardinals, allowing only one run (but four hits and four walks) in five innings. Though the Cubs have obviously not faced him during the regular season, they have faced Enright at Chase Field -- in the final exhibition game of 2010 on April 3, in which they had seven hits and six runs off him in 4.2 innings. Let's hope for a repeat of that tonight.

Carlos Silva started vs. the Diamondbacks on May 1 at Wrigley Field and had probably his worst outing of the year -- five earned runs in five innings. This included allowing three of the eight HR he's given up this year (two to Mark Reynolds, one to Justin Upton). If Silva can keep the ball down tonight, he should be fine.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Arizona. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 8:30 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 9:45, 10:45 and 11:30 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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