Not-remotely-fun fact: if the season ended today, the Cubs would have lost the NL Central by a game to the Brewers, and would be slated to play in the Wild Card Game, at Wrigley Field, against the Rockies.
I do not want to watch that movie again.
Since May 14, the start of that series the Cubs lost in Cincinnati at the tail end of a crazy long stretch of winning series (when they were 25-14) the Cubs have gone 20-26. That’s a .435 winning percentage. Had they been doing that all year in another division, they’d be nearly 20 games out in every division except the NL Central and NL East. There, they’d only be around 10 to 15 games out. Snort.
Are you getting the picture of just how poorly the Cubs have performed for a very long time? They have been a solidly below average team by the results for much longer than they were well above average. This malaise feels like it has lasted so long because it has. Heck, malaise is probably generous.
In those nearly two months of action, the Cubs have won three – THREE – series. That’s it. And unless they take the next three in Pittsburgh, it’ll be yet another series without a win. Then, they’d have to sweep the White Sox in two games to get a win there. It’s exceedingly plausible that the Cubs will sit at the All-Star break having won just three series from mid-May to mid-July. Those are the results of a bad team, not just a mediocre one.
To be a game out of first and still in Wild Card position, then, is something akin to an act of God, rather than a credit to the team’s competitiveness. I certainly don’t want to see a repeat of last year’s “postseason,” but, given the last two months, the Cubs would be comically lucky to get there without any kind of meaningful changes to their roster and/or their performance.
There is too much talent on this roster for the Cubs to have been this bad for this long.