The frustration is building, I reckon. For the fans, obviously, but also maybe for the players. Not really what you want to see nine games into the year when six of those games have come against the Pirates.
So, yes, you have to make the obligatory “it’s only nine games” comments, and they’re all totally correct. This sport will vex you constantly if you’re not taking a bigger view. HOWEVER, the Cubs are up against a reality where their season might change dramatically if they’re not leading the division come late June, so a bad nine-game stretch in April may shift things a bit more than usual. Moreover, any series loss to this year’s Pirates team – much less one that looked as baaaaaad as it did for the Cubs this weekend – is not acceptable. I think everyone involved knows it. Hence the frustration, yes, already.
It wasn’t much of a homecoming for Trevor Williams, who’d looked so good last time out and looked so hittable this time. Williams couldn’t finish the 4th inning today, and as with Zach Davies yesterday, it was enough to sink the Cubs. That’s as much a shot at the pitiful offense as it is at the starting pitchers. Going down 3 or 4 or even 5 runs to the Pirates shouldn’t feel like a death sentence in the early innings. And yet.
It’s a deep offensive funk for so many of these guys to start the season. Will it last? For all of them? Oh, probably not. Not at this depth. But if you have confidence that there will be enough of a turnaround from enough of the guys to put together a plus offensive season overall, well, you’re on an island. I would put myself in the “it’s possible given the individual talent” category, but then, it’s not like we haven’t seen the Cubs offense be less than the sum of its parts for YEARS now.