Cubs First Month is Failpril

At the beginning of the Cubs season, we noted that the team had a string of 19 straight games in April against teams who had winning records last season and were teams largely assumed to be contenders for the playoffs in 2013 – the Braves, Brewers (twice), Giants, Rangers, and Reds.  We thought that if the Cubs could even manage a 50/50 game split in this tough streak that it would speak to the team’s improvement over the 2012 100-loss squad, and show promise that perhaps the future – maybe even this season – could be brighter for the North Siders.

Welp… it didn’t go so well.

The Cubs went 4-13 with two rain-outs (Brewers & Rangers) to be played later.
Braves L 1-4
Braves L 5-6
Braves L 1-5
Brewers L 4-7
Brewers W 6-3
Giants L 6-7
Giants W 4-3
Giants L 2-3
Giants L 7-10
Rangers L 2-4
Rangers W 6-2
Brewers L 4-5
Brewers L 1-5
Brewers L 2-4
Reds L 4-5
Reds W 4-2
Reds L 0-1

Two streaks of losing 4 in a row, and two sweeps by the Braves and Brewers.  Some fans were quick to point out that 6 of those losses were only by 1 run, so some extra offense there, some extra defense here, and the Cubs could have gone 10-7.  To that we say the difference between teams who compete and teams who don’t is their ability to win those close games, to be the victor in one run scenarios, not the team always crying “well we ALMOST had them.”

Were the Cubs missing their reigning Gold Glove 2nd baseman Darwin Barney due to an injury for half those games?  Yes.  Were the Cubs missing their ace, Matt Garza, for all those games due to injury?  Yes.  Good excuses, sure, but you have to win with who you play, and the Cubs simply didn’t win enough to feel good about their level of contention in April.

The season is a long one, and the Cubs can surely bounce back, but if they keep going at this rate it isn’t hard to imagine another fire sale come June with Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer dumping anyone who isn’t in the team’s future plans for any value they can get in return.  The Cubs finished April at 10-16, and three of those wins came at the end of the month against the woeful Marlins, and two of them at the start of the season against the ever inconsistent Pirates.

10-16, if you convert into a season full of baseball, is 62-100.  Brace yourself, Cubs fans, 2013 might not be very fun to watch at all.

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