Remember this from last year?
Most games this season with 1 or 0 runs scored:— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) October 1, 2018
That’s a team that lost 115 games, a team that lost 98 games, a team that lost 89 games, a team that lost 85 games... and the Cubs, a 95-win team.
Of course, that’s illogical, but it is true that the Cubs went through long periods of time in 2018 where they simply didn’t score many, or any, runs. They went through one five-game stretch in August where they scored exactly one run in each game, but managed to win two of them with good pitching. The 2018 Cubs scored 761 runs, 61 fewer than the 2017 version did.
I’m here to tell you that this year’s Cubs are doing much better in that category. Through Wednesday, the Cubs have scored one or zero runs eight times this year, which is tied for fifth-best in MLB with the Nationals. The Braves (five), Yankees and Rangers (six) and Twins (seven) have done better. Here’s the complete list, which has the Marlins dead last with 27 (!) such games, and we’re not quite halfway through the 2018 season.
The Cubs currently rank fifth in the N.L. in runs (371) and runs per game (5.08), and they have played two fewer games than three of the four teams in front of them. They’re on pace for 823 runs, which would be the most for a Cubs team since 2008 and second-best for any Cubs team since 1930.
Admittedly, this is just one measure, but it’s something the Cubs were bad at in 2018 and seem to have improved on this year. (They’ve lost all eight games they have scored one or fewer runs in so far in 2019; no 1-0 wins.) And to be sure, the Cubs could use some better results in situational hitting.
But this offense is generating runs, and the pitching’s been pretty solid recently, particularly the starting rotation.
Just thought you’d like to know that this is one area that’s improved in 2019 over 2018.