The Chicago Cubs posted a very disappointing 37-55 record in the first half of the 2011 MLB season. Only a few bright spots leave Cubs fans with hope for the future, but the bad spots are much more noticeable.
What could possibly be good about the Cubs first half? A few bright spots give the suffering Cubs fan some hope. First of all, youngster Starlin Castro (21years old) made his first All-Star game. Castro continued to impress the Cubs organization, fans and even former Chciago Cubs players. Cubs legend, Ernie Banks, gave high praise for the young shortstop by saying, “He’s a great player. He can cover a lot of ground. He’s got a great arm. He can throw, he can hit. I’m happy for him. He’s better than me.” Castro led the Cubs batting .307. He also drove in 39 runs and stole 10 bases.
Another bright spot for the Cubs was the emergence of Darwin Barney and the re-emergence of former All-Star, Aramis Ramirez. Barney was expected to split time with Jeff Baker and Blake Dewitt. However, Barney has earned himself a starting spot in the Cubs lineup. Barney led all rookies with a .306 batting average.
After a terrible 2010 season, third baseman Aramis Ramirez has come back strong. Ramirez started the season off slow, but a recent surge almost got him a spot in the All-Star game. The Cubs slugger finished the first half with a solid .298 average with 15 home runs and 51 RBIs.
The Cubs ranked 6th in the Majors with a team average of .264
Now for the bad…
The Cubs finished 18 games under .500 and 12 games out of struggling NL Central. The Cubs are 5th in the divison, right above the Houston Astros who are the worst team in the MLB. Unfortunately for the Cubs, they are 2-4 aganist the lowly Astros. The Cubs average attendance has dropped every game between 2,000-4,000 and understandably so. The Cubs .402 winning percentage in the first half is the 5th worst in the Cubs last 50 years.
Some of the first half stats are just embarrassing for the Cubs. The team Earned Run Average(ERA) ranked 28th(out of 30) in the Majors. The pitching staff led the majors in walks issued(233). The Cubs only received 9 victories from starting pitchers whose name is not Garza, Zambrano or Dempster. To add to the problems, the team led the majors with 77 errors.
Brace yourself for the Ugly..
The Cubs suffered a heart breaking 16 losses by just one run. If the club would have won around half of those games, they would be in the thick of the division.
After an impressive 2010 rookie season, Tyler Colvin had high expectations. But Colvin was sent back to the minors after batting a brutal .105. Fortunately for the Cubs, Colvin is not costing the Cubs 17million dollars a year. Which leads us to one of the biggest bust in Cubs recent history, Alfonso Soriano. After a strong April in which Soriano hit 10 homeruns, he has hit just 4 long balls. And his .265 average with 1 stolen base does not help his case. Soriano still has 3 years left in his 8 year 136million dollar deal.
To top off the UGLY season for the loveable losers, the dreaded number will more than likely reach…