The Cubs dropped thier third straight game yesterday. Two of the past three games where lost due to 4 run eighth inning. The bullpen has been the source of great frustration for the second straight start of a season, and I really don’t want to dwell on the obvious of Cubs need better relievers. Instead I want to talk about the #TeaseRally on Friday.
The Cubs were down four and facing one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. The Cubs managed to score three times and come within a base hit of tying or even winning the game. Instead Darwin Barney struck out and the Cubs lost another one run game. It seems to be almost a trademark of the Dale Sveum Cubs. That the team is scrappy and fights back into games, but more often than not comes up on the losing end.
The Cubs are actually the worst team in one run games under Dale Sveum. The Cubs .358 winning percentage in those situations is worse than the Houston Astro’s .372 in the same stretch. The Cubs have come up on the short end of the stick in these one run games more frequently than any team except the Milwaukee Brewers since 2012.
The explanation for this fact is probably multi-faceted. The one hand the Cubs are not a very good team and they have a very bad bullpen. However, if the bullpen was the only reason the Tampa Bay Rays wouldn’t be fourth lowest winning percentage at .404 and if it was just lack of talent than the Tigers wouldn’t rank at eighth with a .444. And on the flipside, the Cleveland Indians have the third best winning percentage at .660 with neither immense talent or a top notch bullpen.
It could have to do with managerial decisions, but when Joe Maddon and Jim Leyland are in the bottom ten in this category that debunks that theory too. Ultimately, there is some luck in play here as well. The Cubs margin for victory is so razor thing that they cannot overcome a few bad bounces. As time goes on the record should trend back up, and one of the many reasons why I think this team is better than its record, not by much but still better. At the end of the day I am not sure what to think about #TeaseRallies apart from they are unsatisfying at the end of the day.