This Road Trip Can Only End Slightly Less Badly and Other Cubs Bullets

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This Road Trip Can Only End Slightly Less Badly and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

May the Fourth be with you. And May the Fourth be with the Cubs today, because I will take absolutely anything that’ll win the Cubs a dang game. They have quietly (loudly?) won just four times in their last thirteen tries.

  • The BEST the Cubs can now do on this seven-game road trip to Miami and Washington is go 2-5. That’s really quite bad. I can talk about how the games were all close and some of it was flukey and coinflips and yada yada, but you know what I’m going to say: when you aren’t fielding your best 26, I’m a whole lot less inclined to be a warm and fuzzy blanket about bad luck. You’re supposed to put yourself in the best possible position to ABSORB some of that bad luck, and the Cubs are not doing that.
  • Nico Hoerner is all of us, via The Athletic: “From a 30,000-foot perspective, there’s a lot of positives. If you go back to spring training, you’d take these positives to start. But having been through it — with some of the close games that we’ve lost and things like that — I do feel like there’s a lot more there. That’s a nice, healthy combination. I try to not get too caught up in the result every day. But at the same time, it’s understanding that it is a wins-and-losses league, right? We’re (at) .500, but it feels like we could be in a much better spot than that. Not so much focusing on the negative that we’re not there, but that’s very much what we’re capable of. If that’s who we truly are, then we have (132) games to show that.”
  • Basically, there are things that are good, but also things that are not; there are things that look freaking great compared to expectations in the spring, but also the Cubs don’t have nearly enough wins to match the performances; there is still tons of time to win a lot of games, but also they actually have to do it.
  • Marcus Stroman allowed just one run (on a double-play), and the bullpen allowed just one run (on a bloop single), so we can be very clear that last night’s loss was about the offense.
  • David Ross, discussing the Cubs’ offensive troubles on this road trip, and me trying not to scream about intentionally putting groundball hitters in the lineup nightly ( “The ball has been on the ground a lot,” Ross said. “It seems like we can’t seem to get the ball in the air, get the ball to fall, with two outs. Those are two things we did really well prior to this road trip. That’s probably the big-picture culprit.”
  • There was no expectation that Tucker Barnhart would be a positive at the plate, but I think there was definitely a hope that he would be doing more than this: .184/.238/.211/25 wRC+. And if he’s not going to do more than that, then I hope it’ll soon become clear that he’s an absolute voodoo master at getting his pitchers to be incredible. Maybe that’ll happen as the season goes on (feels like the kind of thing you need a really large sample to notice, and more time for him to really learn these guys; but so far, the Cubs are 3-10 in his starts, which makes this process kinda painful).
  • I am annoyed – at the Cubs and at myself – that I am not enjoying this as much as I should:
  • An absolute all-timer quote from Giants starter Logan Webb:
  • Max Scherzer returned from his sticky stuff suspension last night, and threw just 3.1 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and a walk. Also, his spin rates were down significantly:
  • It’s a disaster what has happened to the A’s in Oakland, and it’s pretty hard to blame fans for having no interest in coming out to see a terrible team play while trying to leave their city:
  • Speaking of which:
  • Everyone can cheer for this (shirt was made by our friends at Obvious Shirts):

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.