The Cubs have been bad since the All-Star break, how bad? Real bad, their offense has scored 33 runs since the break. Sounds ok but remove the 19 runs that were all score in two blow out wins and the Cubs have mustered 14 runs in 7 games. Key slugger Aramis Rameriz has hit .103 since the break and the Cubs has lost their 5 game lead over the Brewers in less than two weeks.
So its the end of the line, another epic Cubs collapes right? Wrong! Time for the patiented Cubs opitomism, lets find the positives since the break.
1. Starting Pitching
The Cubs starting pitching, which was pointed to as their greatest flaw coming into the second half has been outstanding thus far. Carlos Zambrano has been effective in his starts since the All-Star break, with a 1-1 record. Ryan Dempster pitched an absolute gem and got his first road win and Rich Harden has been lights out posting 30 Ks and 8 BB in his 17.1 innings. And Tedd Lilly is sporting a 2.77 ERA since the break. The Cubs offense has struggled but it will rebound, and if the pitching can keep this pace the Cubs will again be a powerhouse and stronger than they were in the first half. What makes me thing the offense is coming around?
Fukudome had a very rough end of the 1st half, with a massive slump that landed him batting 8th. While he has not busted out of this slump yet he has started to drive the ball with some authority and his core numbers are raising. His OBP is at .357 since the break and as he starts to see the ball better he will get better swings on the ball.
3. Carlos Marmol
Again another Cub that closed the 1st half with very poor numbers, but since his excellent showing in the All-Star game Marmol seems to be back on track. He is still walking batters and getting into jams but he is again striking his way out of them and has not surrendered a run since the All-Star game
4. The Offense isn't that off, it will rebound
This entire strech by the Cubs has not been a total failure of the offense, it is a simple balancing out from some of the amazing numbers the Cubs put up early in the season. They are still getting men on base, the team OBP is still fine, they are still hitting the ball hard it has just been right at defenders. That is just baseball and the Cubs will again find the holes and gaps and start driving in runs. Soriano will find his timing again, he has been out for so long its no surprise that his bat isn't there. Rameriz and Soto seem to be finding their swings again.
5. Its not even August yet!
Relax the Cubs were still battling the Brewers at this point last season and August was the when the Cubs really took over and separated from the Brew Crew. Yes this is the worst baseball the Cubs have played but it will pass as will the Brewers hot streak. This up coming 4 game series is important but its not do or die yet.
There is a sivler lining, so calm down Cubs fans there is plenty of ball left.