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May 30, 2013

On the Beat

Unbearable Miscues

by John Perrotto


On the surface, it seems like this is nothing more than another miserable season for the Cubs. They are 21-30 and fourth in the National League Central, 13 ½ games behind the Cardinals. Just three major-league teams have worse records: the Marlins (13-40), Astros (16-37), and Brewers (19-32).

While it would be incorrect to say the Cubs are an optimistic bunch after having already been blown out of the division race, it would also be incorrect to say that doom and gloom pervades their clubhouse. They believe they are not far away from being a pretty decent team.

“If you look at it, we’re not playing bad baseball,” right-hander Jeff Samardzija said. “It just seems like one thing happens in every game that makes the difference between a win and a loss. A hit here or a hit there, a play here or a play there and we could have won a lot more games this season. There has been a fine line. We’re not as bad as our record indicates.”

That, of course, flies in the face of what football sage Bill Parcells famed “you are what you’re record says you are” line. In this modern era of sabermetrics, though, we have come to know that a team is more what its run differential says it is.

No wonder Cubs manager Dale Sveum, in a moment of reflection after a recent loss, said, “Look at our run differential and then try to explain our record to me.”

The Cubs have scored 206 runs and allowed 205 for a run differential of +1. Thus, their record should be right around .500 instead of nine games below.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: Kevin Ga... (05/30)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article On the Beat: The Optim... (05/23)
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Premium Article On the Beat: Potential... (06/06)
Next Article >>
Overthinking It: Bill ... (05/30)

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