Cubs are losing a race they always win

Posted on May 28, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Ok, they’re only losing by 3 strikeouts.  I find it to be an amazing stat that the last time the Cubs did not win the MLB strikeout race was 2000.   Bill Clinton was President the last time the Cubs failed to lead MLB in strikeouts.  They have often won this by over 100 strikeouts over any other team.  It has not translated into any important, like a championship, but it is still a very impressive stat.  As of right now, the Florida Marlins are leading this important race by 3 strikeouts.  They have also eeked it out several years, like 2008 when they won over the Giants by 4 strikeouts.  The Giants may not have even realized it was a race, but I bet the Cubs knew. 

The Cubs rotation has changed personnel over the years, although they have obviously been looking for a particular type of pitcher.  Carlos Zambrano has been a mainstay and ranked in the top ten in the NL from 2004-2007.  Of course, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were major contributors when healthy.  What other names might you have forgotten that were factors?  Matt Clement, Rich Hill, Jason Bere, Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz, Greg Maddux, Glendon Rusch, Carlos Marmol and on and on.  They have continued with this strategy despite mediocre results.  Yes, they have made the playoffs the last two years and came close to the World Series in 2003, but the results have still not been pretty.  They have been barely over .500 since 2001, but that includes several 90 loss seasons.

Strikeouts are wonderful and exciting.  Dominating pitchers often do great in the postseason, such as the 2001 Diamondbacks.  But, I think the Cubs should let this streak lapse and see if getting some more non-fireballers in the rotation improves their lot.  It’s not the cause of all their problems, but it is a continuing reminder of past failures.

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