The World Series Hangover has been in full effect for the Chicago Cubs. Of course, it is common for defending champs to have trouble living up to expectations after taking home a World Series, but this case with the Chicago Cubs is much longer than many anticipated.
Yesterday, the struggles continued as the Pittsburgh Pirates totaled 10 runs in the first inning of the contest. Yes, you read that right.
— William Chase (@WillChase_) July 9, 2017
This rout came at the hands of starting pitcher Jon Lester. While he gave up a total of 10 runs in this first inning, only four were earned which really embodies this clubs season so far.
#Cubs have 59 errors, 5th in MLB. Also 4th best in DRS with 24.
Make the great plays, botch the routine ones.
— Alex Patt (@chifanpatt1) July 10, 2017
The 10 runs only came at six hits, three walks and also two home runs; one of which was a grand slam by Pirates Catcher Francisco Cervelli. This one swing of the bat brought the score to 9-0. Andrew McCutchen followed that long ball up by a solo shot which set the score at 10-0 where Lester would soon exit the game.
Chicago would go on to lose this game 14-3, leaving them at 43-45 on the year and sitting at second place in the NL Central.
Pretty much everything that has gone wrong for the Cubs has happened this year. While they have had their struggles in the field, it really comes down to hitting. Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist, who were two of the leaders in last year’s World Series run, have plummeted this season. Schwarber started out the season hitting only .177 and was even sent down to the minors to get back on track.
Javier Baez has totaled an on base percentage below .300 and Jayson Hayward is hitting .251. Perhaps one of the only bright spots for the Chicago Cubs is Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo had a very slow start but has turned things aroundrecently.