Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cubs Lose Chance For Consecutive World Series Runs

Well, the Chicago Cubs 2017 campaign has come to an end, as well as the New York Yankees, leaving the Houston Astros vs the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the first World Series the Dodgers have been in since 1988 with the memorable walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth by Kirk Gibson (I replayed the 1988 World Series in Strat-O-Matic so check that out if you're interested.)

The Cubs started this year out very badly but they came back and ended the season in first place of the National League Central Division. The Cubs came into the season as the World Series champs and they seemed to make the right trade moves where they needed help specifically a starting pitcher and a solid closer which they got both with Jose Quintana and Wade Davis respectively. They both helped the Cubs with their strong second-half performance.

In the National League Divisional Series the Cubs faced the Washington Nationals. That series alone made it perfectly clear to me that even if the Cubs to get to the World Series they wouldn't be winning it. The starters either started strongly only to have the relief pitcher give the game away or the starter themselves were chased out of the game to again have the relief pitchers to put the game out of their grasp. Game five the Cubs win because a couple of huge mistakes that the Nationals made which gave the Cubs enough runs to win the series.

If the pitching was bad they may still have had a chance to win it all but for the most part, the hitters were pretty quiet in the playoffs. Rizzo basically won the first game all by himself but after that, he shut down as well as Kris Bryant which was a big blow to the Cubs. Most of their hitters hit under .200 during the playoffs and it hurt them. If only the Cubs offense kicked in during the last few games against the Dodgers they may have been able to beat them with their iffy pitchers but we will never know now.

Going into 2018 the Cubs need to do some work. As I mentioned above their going to have to make some tough changes to the pitching. Hendricks, Quintana, and Lester will be back but Jake Arrieta's contract is up and John Lackey's contract is up and he's probably going to retire. Both the Cubs and Arrieta have said they want him back in 2018 as do I so I hope that happens. This means that they need one to two new starters, depending on if Mike Montgomery will stay in the bullpen or officially become a starter.

The Cubs also need to find some good middle relievers. Carl Edwards Jr. had a very good first half with an ERA of 0 but after having one bad game he lost his confidence and was bad for the second half and the playoffs. If they can get him pitching back to how he did at the beginning of the season he'd be a good middle reliever. Pedro Strop needs to go, every time he was put in the home runs started to fly.

I think looking back at the 2017 season it overall was a pretty good year, not 2016 good but not bad as they are the fourth best team of the year. Hopefully, for the 2018 season, they can fix the problems and go for another World Series run.

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