Cubs Prove They Are Still A Bit Away From Contention

A Chicago Cubs grounds crew member cleans off the Chicago Cubs logo prior to game one of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs‘ weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers showed the team wasn’t in any contention form.

Their seven runners left in scoring position, three runs scored, and 23 strikeouts by the offense shows problems for Chicago.

But offense wasn’t the only issue for Chicago, as their pitching staff allowed 20 runs in the weekend series.

The combination of poor pitching and hitting hurts Chicago in 2022.

They can’t be contenders with issues on both sides of their lineup.

Starting pitching puts the Cubs’ bullpen into jams, while the offense isn’t able to help them get out of those jams.

These issues are a little embarrassing for Cubs fans this season.

So what makes the pitching so bad in Chicago?

Cubs Rank Near Bottom In Most MLB Pitching Stats

Chicago has one team to thank for not being a complete embarrassment, and that’s the Cincinnati Reds.

However, the Reds and Cubs are not far behind each other.

They rank in the bottom 20 with most pitching statistics.

Wins, ERA, total runs allowed, home runs allow, walks, and strikeouts all rank near the bottom for Chicago.

They can’t be playoff contenders with their pitching staff ranking among the worst in MLB.

Three of their top starters all have ERAs over 5.00 for the 2022 season.

They get knocked around early, forcing the bullpen to step in to stop the bleeding.

However, pitching isn’t their only issue in 2022 that’s keeping them from being contenders.

The Offense Isn’t Much Better Either

Cubs batters take pitches and strikeout more than other MLB teams.

They rank 21st in runs, 22nd in hits, 23rd in home runs, and 22nd in RBIs.

The only small bright spot is their 16th ranked OBP and batting average.

However, the offense tries for the home run ball more than playing small ball in 2022.

They’ve entered the phase of home run/walk/strikeout mode when batting.

This means they are more apt to take strikeouts and walks, or try for a home run, than to make solid contact.

It’s a strategy that’s not paying off for Chicago, and hurting the bullpen pitchers trying to hold games close for the Cubs.

Is Chicago Back To Being Lovable Losers?

The Cubs surely have the losing part down pat.

However, I can’t see anything lovable about their losing ways.

But players like Seiya Suzuki and Willson Contreras give Cubs fans players to love.

The only problem is management having a history of trading away their best players when the season looks grim.

Just look at how Chicago traded Anthony Rizzo, among others, away last season.

The same might happen with Contreras if the Cubs aren’t in contention and he’s playing well.

Fans can’t love a team when management doesn’t do the right things by keeping their best players.

However, management sees trades of their best players as the way to build for the future.

But there is no future for Chicago if they don’t address their core issues.

Until the team can address poor starting pitching and horrible batting decisions, they won’t be contenders for a long time.

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