I’m not going to try and okey-doke you by saying that the first three games of the year have been great for the Cubs. But I do want to point something out: if you knew before the season started that the Cubs would score three runs, total, in their first three games, you’d probably take a 1-2 record with pleasure, right? In the end, it’s just three games. There is absolutely no meaning to be taken, yet, from what has or has not happened.
That said, some things to note about the Cubs’ offense through three games (solely for fun, not for instruction or analysis):
- The team’s three runs from runners in scoring position are the fewest in baseball, tied with the Astros … and the Nationals. (And the Cubs are the only team, together with the Cardinals, who’ve played only three games thus far.)
- … but those are the only three runs the Cubs have scored at all. The next lowest total in baseball is seven runs by a handful of teams.
- The Cubs’ two hits with runners in scoring position are the fewest in baseball, and their .080 average in that situation is also the lowest. And holy crap is that low. The Detroit Tigers have 21(!) hits with runners in scoring position.
- The Cubs and Marlins are the only teams in baseball without a homer this year. The Cubs’ four extra-base hits are tied for the second fewest in baseball (Phillies, Twins). The Mets have only three extra-base hits, but two of ’em are homers.
- The Cubs’ team OPS is .422. There are six teams that have a higher SLG than that.
- The team’s 7 walks are the lowest in baseball, but so are their 99 total plate appearances (fewer games than most teams, and the lack of hits to extend innings).
- The Cubs’ walk rate – 7.1% – is 19th in baseball. The Cubs’ strikeout rate – 30.3% – is 2nd. (*Repeats to self that it’s just three games … shifts uneasily in chair.*)
- The Cubs’ BABIP is, you guessed it, lowest in baseball, at just .207. That won’t last forever.
- Indeed, the team’s line drive rate is 21.4% – tied for 9th best in baseball.
- If you’ve been paying attention at all, you already knew that this offense would go through highs and lows (like every team, but maybe more pronounced), so there’s absolutely nothing in the start of this season that makes me feel any better or worse about what’s to come. This is just the way it’s going to be, even after Kris Bryant arrives (he, himself, is 1-8 with a single, no walks, and a strikeout at AAA so far – everyone goes through blips. This is why we pound the idea of small sample sizes not meaning anything).
- Like I said: it’s just three games. I feel better now.