The 2012 Chicago Cubs’ “First Half” by the Numbers

While the All-Star break doesn’t actually mark the end of the first half of the season – with 85 games in the book for the Cubs, there are just 77 left – it has become the nominal “first half” for these kind of mid-season run downs. And I’m nothing if not a lemming, so here is your Cubs’ first half, by the numbers:

33 – The number of Cubs wins.

52 – The number of Cubs losses.

1 – The number of days the Cubs were reasonably in contention.

.291 – Starlin Castro’s team-leading batting average.

.736 – Starlin Castro’s OPS.

.722 – Travis Wood’s OPS.

.177 – Geovany Soto’s team … losing batting average.

1.055 – Anthony Rizzo’s OPS! (RizzOMG!)

49 – Anthony Rizzo’s plate appearances. (oh.)

1 – The number of walks Anthony Rizzo has taken in those 49 plate appearances.

.843 – Jeff Baker’s OPS against lefties.

14 – The number of Bryan LaHair homers.

30 – The number of Bryan LaHair RBI.

0 – The number of Alfonso Soriano homers in April.

15 – The number of Alfonso Soriano homers thereafter.

.288 – Steve Clevenger’s OBP.

25 – The number of Tony Campana stolen bases.

1 – The number of times Tony Campana has started in the last 17 days.

.308 – Tony Campana’s OBP.

6 – The team-leading number of wins, shared by Jeff Samardzija and Paul Maholm.

4.57 – Paul Maholm’s ERA.

4.71 – Jeff Samardzija’s ERA.

10 – The number of walks issued by Shawn Camp in 45 innings.

28 – The number of walks issued by Carlos Marmol in 25.2 innings.

1.99 – Ryan Dempster’s team-leading, and pretty-much-league-leading ERA.

1.80 – Manny Corpas’s ERA (15 innings).

8.31 – Kerry Wood’s ERA.

1 – The number of times Kerry Wood retired.

100% – The amount I still love Kerry Wood.

54 – The number of days since you last thought about Lendy Castillo (he last pitched on May 11, and was put on the DL on May 16).

4.36 – The Cubs’ team ERA.

.686 – The Cubs’ team OPS.

25, 26 – The Cubs’ rank in MLB in ERA and OPS, respectively.

0 – The number of Cubs in the top 70 of runs scored.

37 – The place of David DeJesus in OBP ranking in baseball, which .359 OBP leads the Cubs.

98 – The place of Alfonso Soriano in OBP ranking in baseball, which .323 OBP is second on the Cubs among qualifiers.

15 – Games back the Cubs are in the NL Central.

0.5 – Games ahead of the Astros the Cubs are, landing them in fifth place (not last) at the turn.

0.0% – The chance the Cubs have of making the playoffs at this point, according to Baseball Prospectus.

.623 – The winning percentage the Cubs would need over the remaining 77 games just to get to 81 wins.

0 – The number of teams that presently enjoy a winning percentage better than .612.

If you’ve got more, offer ‘em up in the comments.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

118 responses to “The 2012 Chicago Cubs’ “First Half” by the Numbers”

  1. Kevin

    Any new trade talks to report?

    IMO, the Cubs package players to get the talent they want.

    1. Myles

      If you ask me, I think they should try to get better for the years after this one, forgoing immediate improvement for long term success.

  2. Cub Gone Wild

    I don’t agree on the catcher not having an influence on pitchers. I was a pretty good pitcher and I just did not like throwing to some catchers. Either they couldn’t call a good game or I didn’t like the way the worked behind the plate or I didn’t have confidence in them when I was throwing my secondary pitches. A pitchers trust in his catcher ways heavily on his confidence. That’s why a lot of guys prefer one catcher on a staff over another. That’s why Koyie Hill was around so long. Only because pitchers liked him behind the plate. It wasn’t for any other reason. His winning percentage was pretty good on bad teams.

    1. Edwin

      That might be true of catchers/pitchers in high school, but I just don’t think it’s true of professional ball players. If a pitcher’s confidence was that fragile and that dependent on the catcher, that pitcher would never make it far. Or, if a catcher was that bad at “handling” pitchers, that catcher wouldn’t make it that far either.

      A pitcher might perfer a certain catcher, or have a good working relationship with a catcher, but pitchers don’t perform better or worse because of the catcher.

      I have no idea why Koyie Hill played on the Cubs as long as he did. He’s one of the worst players to ever play for the Cubs.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        There also is a difference between a particular pitcher feeling comfortable (for whatever reasons) with a particular catcher, and a catcher being a generally “good” handler of a pitching staff.

      2. Edwin

        Edit:

        Doc makes a good point. I’ll concede that some catcher’s are probably better at calling a game or framing pitches than other catchers. It’s definetly a skill. I just think that that skill doesn’t amount to much actual on field value. Certainly not enough to justify keeping or releasing a catcher.

    2. notcubbiewubbie

      the only reason coyie hill was around so long is he had compromising pictures of jim hendry.

  3. Cub Gone Wild

    There has to be some good rumors out there. We need something interesting to read and comment on. It’s time to get some shit stirred up.

  4. MaxM1908

    Is it too early to start thinking about “next year?” What are people’s early predictions for next year’s lineup and rotation? Obviously, there are many unknowns with trades and FA acquisitions, but assuming no trade returns are MLB ready to begin next year, what do you predict for the team? Here’s my not-so-educated guess:

    1. DeJesus CF
    2. Castro SS
    3. Rizzo 1B
    4. Soriano LF
    5. LaHair RF
    6. Castillo C
    7. Barney 2B
    8. Vitters (If wins the job in ST, otherwise Valbuena) 3B
    9. Dempster P

    Bench: Valbuena, Clevenger, ? ? ?

    Rotation:
    Dempster (Resigns after season and trade)
    Shark
    Maholm
    Wood
    ?

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      [querulous old man voice] Next year? Bah! In my day, we’d be talking about 3 years from now at this point! And we were grateful for it, too!

      1. Bart

        Doc – did you just invoke Dana Carvey?!?

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          Actually, I was thinking Monty Python. I decided to skip the part where we all got killed every morning, and enjoyed it…..

          1. BlueHorizons

            How could you skip THAT part?! We had it rough! I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night ‘alf an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down in the mill, AND pay the mill owner for permission to come to work. When we got home, our dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

    2. Featherstone

      Interesting that you have quite a few players on your list that are up for trade contention (Dejesus, Lahair, Soriano, Barney, Maholm.)

      1. MaxM1908

        I think those players will still be around. I don’t think we get a trade done on any of those as individuals (I wouldn’t be surprised, however, that any one of those could be thrown in with a Dempster or Garza to sweeten the deal). So, at this point, the only trades that I think will actually come to fruition are Dempster and Garza. I’d be happy if we get a decent return for DeJesus or Soriano, but I actually think I’d be disappointed in losing LaHair, Barney, or Maholm unless the offer was too good to pass up.

    3. Rob M

      Vitters will not hit behind Castillo and Barney…

  5. Spriggs

    27 – average number of times Dale uses “you know” in a post game press conference.
    1,156 – average number of times Dale uses “uh” in a post game press conference.

  6. Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett/Luke,
    Anymore more news of any international free agents the cubs are going after?

    1. Assman22

      Going hard after Paniagua

  7. JoeyCollins

    X – number of times a day i check BN (currently 10-20)
    X^2 – number of times i will be checking BN in the days leading up to the trade deadline.
    X*2 – number of times i will be checking BN in the weeks following the trade deadline
    X – number of times i will be checking BN as the season comes to a close
    X/4 – number of times i will be checkig BN as football season heats up
    X*2 – number of times i will be checking BN as the offseason heats up and we approach the draft
    -Love this site -love the cubs -Great work Brett/Luke/everyone who follows and posts

  8. Caleb

    100%: the percentage of BN I’ve read this season.
    95%: the percentage of she-view girls I would kiss on the mouth.
    6: times I’ve thought maybe keeping sori wouldn’t be so bad.
    9.1: my hotness rating for Kim dejesus.
    100%: cubs win percentage if she were to be the cubs rep in she-view
    97#: percentage of time I’ve agreed with sveums managing
    1: number of times last week I crushed MichiganGoat in fantasy
    4: number of times I’ve worn my Cubs jersey to busch stadium this season
    3: total bars in St Louis I’ve talked into putting on the cubs game
    25: approximate number of bars that told me to “fuck off” when I asked
    29: number of times Kyle and I said “I told you so” about Bryan Lahair
    6: number of times I confused russell with shark because of their hair
    70%: resemblance of marmol to Obama
    85: games that I’ve still missed Ronnie (nothing against Keith!)
    1: rank of BN in best baseball site

    1. MichiganGoat

      Growl… Stare… Drinks another Dirty Bastard

    2. Dave H

      Cubs jersey# and the st louis bars # – Ballsy, Stupid but ballsy.

      Completely agree on Kim Dejesus. If Stacey takes a fall in the she-view, go with Kim.

  9. MightyBear

    33.9 – The amount of millions spent on Soler and Almora. Money well spent.

  10. Ivy Walls

    Biggest number, Mid-May into Mid-June Cubs recorded a 4-24 record. Before that they were 15-20, after that they are 14-9, what gives? Clue the month of April (1.121) and early May LaHair had a 1.000 OPS and carried the team offensively, though May his OPS dropped to 0.780. When Rizzo was called up his 12 G OPS is 1.055 and Cubs are 8-4. LaHair has also started to rebound a bit hitting .290 (.387 OBP) and a .450 SLG) where his OPS in those 12 games is right around .900. I am sure if I drill into the math and compare rosters for Mid-May to Mid-June things will come out like the emergence of Travis Wood and Paul Maholm as starters, and recently Marmol’s return to being able to close games.

    1. Edwin

      So, when the Cubs players are playing good, the team is winning, but when they’re not playing good, the team is losing?

      1. EQ76

        you just blew my mind!

      2. Ivy Walls

        Well that was snidely, what the point is, of course when teams in all sports lose the players are not performing, (playing badly is more of subjective value, performance and execution is more apt in describing things); but more to the point, going 4-24 is way out of normal progressions, okay in that stretch they lost 12 straight, so take out the losing streak and they still went 4-12 in that stretch after starting out 15-20 which included a 3-11 start—meaning they had just went 12-9…Things don’t fall off of cliffs at this level without deeper explanations.

        Here is an oddity: Dempster arguably their best pitcher has been on the DL twice this year, Cubs went (5-4) first stint and (12-11) second stint or 17-15 missing 6 starts in those game stretches.

        What I think points the way was that the Cubs placed both their catchers on the DL (Clevenger 4/28 and Soto 5/19 followed by Castillo on 5/22) and had to go with Lalli and Koyie Hill. The losing stretch began on 5/15 when they lost 12 straight, then won 3 followed by two 4-game losing streaks with one win in between. Not so coincidentally on June 12th jettisoned Rudy Jaramillo where the Cubs are 12-10.

        Clevenger returned on May 28th, Castillo on June 14th and Soto on June 18th. I think the catchers have more to do with the Cubs winning and losing than any other factor outside their new batting approach that seems to be having dividends.

  11. Serious Cubs Fan

    Michael Silverman of Boston herald is saying the Cubs may be interested in The Red sox’s Ryan Sweeney? Makes no sense

    1. Luke

      And there it probably isn’t true. Sweeney may be a name tossed around as part of a larger deal, but I sincerely doubt he’s any sort of a target.

  12. oswego chris

    1- times when guest conducter told Tigers fans they suck, and put Len and Bob on the spot by saying..”so when are we gonna trade Soriano?” Jeff Garlin

  13. Spriggs

    12,501 – total number of times I’ve used a form of the word “shit” during a game this year.

    1. Jeff

      14,501 – that’s my count…lol

      1. MaxM1908

        8 – Number of times I’ve upset the wife while watching games this year by yelling expletives at the top of my lungs at the TV and been told “You know, you can’t do that when we have children.”

  14. hansman1982

    1,587,879,223,451,012,321,654,987,003.14 – number of lineups and pitching rotations featuring nothing but Cubs prospects that were seriously submitted

    0 – number of actual game lineups that feature nothing but Cubs prospects outside of September 2012 or September 2013.

    -1 – number of actual game lineups and pitching rotations featuring nothing but Cubs prospects

  15. Cub Gone Wild

    LOL… My wife gets so pissed when she see’s Marmol come into a game.

    1. BlueHorizons

      >>I<< get so pissed when I see Marmol come into a game. Honestly, I've sadly gotten to the point that I get pissed off, just seeing a camera shot of Marmol in a Cubs uniform. Isn't that a little Pavolovian?

  16. Dave H

    3 – The number of remotes I’ve gone through due to the 9th inning stride of one Carlos Marmol.

  17. Serious Cubs Fan

    Am I one of the only ones who surprised the Cubs didn’t go hard after more big name international guys after July 2nd? They got Frandy de la Rosa, but they didn’t get any huge any big time stud, like Gustavo Cabrera caliber player. I know these are 16 year kids and its kind of a crap shoot, but still the guys that are ranked higher are more projectable kids. But with our farm system being not too top heavy with major impact talent, I’m surprised we didn’t we didn’t go after more big names. I mean I would have gone big after 2 big name guys and spend $2 mil on them and then use the other $900,000 to try and find some diamonds in the rough. Hanley Ramirez signed for $22,000 dollars with the Red Sox almost a decade ago, with one Theo Epstein. But I don’t give Theo any credit for the Hanley Ramirez signing, I give all the credit to the unknown international scout that found him. I highly doubt Theo was in the trenches scouting Hanley. GM’s usually only scout and take looks at big time signings.

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      And Sherman didn’t take Georgia. However…..

  18. Chad

    If all my math is correct:

    3,999 – # of Cubs games that I have watched, followed, read the box score the next day, etc.

    26 – # of the above games that were playoff games

    6 – # of the above games that were playoff wins

    0- # of world series games played

    739 – # of games my #1 cubs fan daughter has seen

    6 – # of the above games that were playoff games

    0 – # of the above games that were playoff wins

    Maybe I shouldn’t drag my kids into this!

  19. cubsin

    Two of the Top 20 couldn’t sign earlier because the weren’t 16 yet, SS Sergio Alcantara, who turns 16 today, and LHP Luiz Gohara, who turns 16 on July 31. Perhaps the Cubs have their eyes on one or both of them, or perhaps they’ve decided to go for quantity over quality. I doubt they’ll leave $2.2 million in their pockets.

    1. Assman22

      Cubs are after Paniagua now and will turn their full attention to Gohara….

  20. cubsin

    There’s also a chance they plan to spend on someone from Korea, Taiwan or Australia.

  21. Arkansas Cub

    Hey guys, Im making the trip to chicago this sunday to see my beloved cubs. I got bleacher tickets and am planning on getting there super early. Any suggestions on where to sit in the outfield? Left field? Right Field? or Center? I’d love to hear some suggestions on the bleacher seats. Thanks

    1. hogie

      From my admittedly limited experience, it depends on what you want from the game. Left gets rowdy, the best conversations I have had at a game came from center, and some of the greatest chants I have ever heard have come when I was sitting in right. I’ve only been to a few games in each area, but that’s the way I see it.

  22. BlueHorizons

    4 – The number of pillows on our couch that I have ruined – so far this season – by punching when I get frustrated while watching the Cubs (the one I call Marmol actually has feathers coming out of the corner stitching)
    119 – Times that my wife has gotten pissed at me for striking previously mentioned pillows

  23. cls

    I’m proud to say that I was there in attendance when Anthony Rizzo took his one walk. I’ll never forget it.