Why the Cubs Won't Win the NL Central in 2009
The Cubs season hasn’t gone as planned. At .500 the Cubs have failed to meet the expectations of their fans and experts alike.
Many experts said that the Cubs had a great pitching staff, and for the most part they do. The only problem is those guys never seem to stay healthy, and when they return they don’t pitch well.
The Cubs hitters have fared much worse. The team’s batting average is .246, which is 26th in the league. While Derrek Lee has started to hit, his efforts are in vain. Kosuke has once again fallen under the .300 mark, just like he did last year after having a great start. Bradley has been a bust since he has yet to hit over .250. Soriano is their main source of power, but he is not a leadoff hitter. A leadoff hitter doesn’t bat .227 and strike out 70 times in 65 games.
The Cubs have just as many problems on the pitching side. Harden has done what he does best: getting injured. Zambrano has also gotten injured and suspended. Dempster hasn’t followed up on his breakout season of last year. Kevin Gregg has shown that he can’t be depended on to close tight games. Carlos Marmol has struggled to strike out hitters, which he did so well last year. With no clear bullpen ace, setup man, or closer, the Cubs have a bunch of problems that seem to stretch on forever.
If there is any hope this year, it’s Randy Wells and Ted Lilly. They are the only consistent pitchers on the ball club. They pitch well every start and give the team a chance to win. Lilly is 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 14 games of work. With Wells, his numbers do not tell the story at all. His 1-3 record is deceiving. His only bad start came against Minnesota, where he gave up 4 earned runs in 3.2 innings of work.
With all of their problems and inconsistencies, the Cubs will not win the Central division for a 3rd time in a row. The Cubs need a lot of revamping and rebuilding. I suggest dropping some older players and picking up younger ones that show promise. The one thing the Cubs have never really had is a good farm system. Most of their draft picks are a bust in the majors, or they never make it to the majors.
While I am a Cubs fan, I just don’t seem them pulling this off. 101 years it will be.
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