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homer at the chalkboardAfter hitting a league-worst .218 with runners in scoring position last year, the Chicago Cubs have started the season 0 for 14 with runners on second and/or third base.

Generally held that hitting with runners in scoring position should generally mirror a team’s actual hitting true talent level, you wouldn’t expect a team to be disproportionately “bad” at hitting in that situation. In other words, you can chalk some of it up to bad luck.

And, if you did chalk this 0-14 start up to bad luck …

If the Cubs had a true talent level batting average with runners in scoring position of .200 (in other words, if you expected them to hit .200 with runners in scoring position over the course of the typical season with this roster), then the chances they’d go without a hit in their first 14 such situations is just 4.4%. That is to say, even if the Cubs really are HISTORICALLY awful at hitting with runners in scoring position, you still would overwhelmingly expect them to have a hit by now.

At the Cubs’ crappy .218 figure from last year? The chances of being hitless so far are just 3.2%.

If we bump the true talent batting average up to a more typical .250, the chances the Cubs would go 0-14 are just 1.8%.

Hooray Cubs luck!

UPDATE: With two more outs with runners in scoring position, that .250 figure is down to 1.0%. One time in 100. This Cubs team did it.

  • http://chicagocubsblog.tumblr.com/ Walking Blue Bear

    How do you come up with the 4.4%?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      .800 (chances you make an out) to the 14th.

  • another JP

    Man, your math skills are killing me.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    So what you’re saying is that it is equally likely that the Cubs will go 14 for 14 with runners in scoring position at some point.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha, unfortunately it doesn’t quite balance out that way (unless you were a .500 true talent level batting team).

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        I dunno…is significantly less than 1% that much different than 1.8%?

  • johnnyfootball

    It’s not “bad luck”, its more of everyone besides Bonafacio looks horrible in any situation right now.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Lol 1 game and we already got this.

      • johnnyfootball

        Lol are you gonna deny that RIGHT NOW everyone besides Bonafacio has looked foolish at the plate

  • Ed

    Is it me, or does it seem like Len hates JD?

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I think it is just you.

  • http://www.w2wn.net Cerambam

    0-15

    • http://www.w2wn.net Cerambam

      What’s the math for 0-16? Start the calculations just in case

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        I hope Brett has a super computer.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        0 for X is easy, at least to a first approximation: it is just P[out]^X.

        1 for X also is easy: just X x P[hit] x P[out]^(X-1).

        It gets a little tougher with 2 for X and higher, as you have to calculate the combinatoric. (It’s actually not that tough: X!/([X-i]! x i!)

  • another JP

    RUNS!! WHERE THE RUNS?

  • Jason P

    1.9%

    And just a 0.3% chance nobody would even get on base if you expect a .300 OBP w/RISP given a larger sample size.

  • willis

    This is almost funny at this point.

    They have one more inning, maybe, to score, then the bullpen comes in and…lights out.

  • Brocktoon

    Yeah, Brett might have to spend all game updating this post.

  • willis

    We all expected the offense to be putrid, but back to back shut outs to start the year is worse than most thought.

  • Porkslap

    What’s the record?

  • cubzfan

    I don’t get the lineups at all. Castro had the least preparation in Spring Training of any hitter, and sucked at the plate last year. So, let’s bat him third for the first two games? Let’s just pretend he’s one of the team’s best hitters?

    • willis

      I do not get that play. He isn’t a “3″ hitter nor did he have any warm up time, as you said. He’s expected to start slowly because of his ST injury, yet he’s in the “3″ hole.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I was not under the impression that going the other way with the pitch, with runners on, was a big secret. Apparently this news has not gotten to the cubs.
    Bill Mueller is there, isn’t he? I mean he was pretty good at it. Has he mentioned it to any players yet?

  • ssckelley

    That RBI stat is worthless!!!

  • Spoda17

    I know it’s game two, but RR should show some confidence in his key players. Sitting after one game does not help a confidence level. E-Jax pitching well, but new lineup is so far a fail.

    In my opinion… over thought it.

    • ssckelley

      Yep, nobody is hitting so let’s blame the manager!

      • Spoda17

        As a leader, you look, you listen, you evaluate, then you act… to “shake-up” the lineup after one game is a mistake. Do you actually think this is a positive?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Nothing in tonight’s lineup had anything whatsoever to do with a shake up or with Monday’s game. This is the platoon strategy.

          • Spoda17

            Brett… platooning on day two is not what I call a winning strategy. When athletes talk about success they say they have the confidence to succeed. This lineup gave no one the feeling to succeed.

            • Brocktoon

              It didn’t give the guys who are starting the feeling to succeed? I can’t imagine how they’d feel if they were benched for the first 2 games.

            • ssckelley

              Lmao, feeling? Seriously? Half of these players on this team just happy to be on a MLB roster.

              You think Olt is in the dugout sulking?

              • Kyle

                I think that’s by design. They want lots of “happy to be in the bigs” guys to keep a veteran revolt from happening when the team is 30 under .500.

                • ssckelley

                  Which veterans? Ruggiano going to start a revolt?

                  • Kyle

                    Exactly.

                    • ssckelley

                      Maybe Darnell McDonald can start one in Des Moines.

                  • jp3

                    Ruggiano was going to revolt…but his ankle is still a little sore.

            • Rebuilding

              I’m confused. Wouldn’t the guys that are playing today get confidence from the fact the manager is playing them? How would the confidence of the guys on the bench affect how we’re playing? Do you think Barney’s negative energy over there is the reason we can’t hit?

        • ssckelley

          Yep, he is playing the match ups. Good managers do that. It is so easy for us to sit here and second guess when we see it isn’t working. But the averages says more time than not they do work. The managers job is to put the players in the game that give them the best chance to succeed, ultimately it is up to the player to execute. The lineup is fine.

          • Spoda17

            Hahaha.. again, when did I mention OLT!!?

            Okay, I’m glad we are playing this lineup, because its been a great success.

            • ssckelley

              Oh so Lake is the one in the dugout sulking, perhaps Barney?

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Time to give Jackson the hook.

  • Bixler51

    I was relieved Barney will start sitting, and even Lake against some righties, but I don’t like platooning Olt.

  • ssckelley

    Awwwww jeez!

  • Allen

    I’m glad Emilio thought starlin’s error was funny. The Pittsburgh broadcast showed Emilio laughing right after the error

    • gocatsgo2003

      Oh my goodness! Players joke around on a baseball field? Egads!

      • Allen

        It was an error that cost us a run in a one run game. I don’t find that very funny

        • gocatsgo2003

          Players try to stay lighthearted in a 162-game season? Holy moly!

    • ssckelley

      It was that bad, he botched a grounder that even little leaguers make.

  • Diehardthefirst

    How’s my draftee Emilio doin? 2 days ago Luke beat me up for suggesting trading Castro or other hitter for some pitching- today a writer on BR a competitor said concensus among baseball gurus is that is exactly what the Cubs should do given so many good hitters coming up- hey, just saying

    • ssckelley

      I can’t wait until the Cubs hire you as the GM.

      • Brocktoon

        Bypassing Tidrow?

      • Diehardthefirst

        Would have settled for Tidrow GM and Sandberg mgr

    • Picklenose

      Did you do the “I told you so dance” or the “Church lady superior dance” with that post?

    • E

      I wouldn’t be opposed to trading Castro if his stock was higher. Right now we’d be lucky to get a Roger McDowell baseball card for him.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Season is 500-600 AB long for everyday and 300-400 for platoon player- still plenty of season left

    • DarthHater

      Did the BR writer also misspell consensus?

  • Allen

    This is tough to watch

  • Porkslap

    Anybody else having issues with the iPhone MLB.tv app? Suddenly stopped working.

  • willis

    As I said, no chance against their bullpen. Against Pittsburgh you have to strike against the starters. Their bullpen is filthy.

  • Bixler51

    The waiver wire Cubs look awful. My theory is these 4AAAA players put up their numbers in garbage time and can’t get clutch hits. TRying not to be too pessimistic… but oh my goodness this is torture!

  • Beast Mode

    Mlb.tv not working and cubs can’t score, ugh this season couldn’t have started off any worse.

    • Porkslap

      Not working for me either. It’s bad enough I’m working right now at least let me watch the game!

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Jesus, the baseball Gods REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALY hate the Cubs.

  • jp3

    Emilio is laughing because he thought his team in KC was bad until he saw us this season

  • hawkboy64

    I do acknowledge tht it is only a game n 3/4 but darn very few of the hitters are patient and less selective if u did have hopes for some miracle season it’s off to a bad start I hope someone anyone gets tht 1 big hit that myb gets them going.

  • Jason P

    Now we can add onto our 0-16!

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