The Cubs have not gotten off to the start anyone envisioned over the winter. They’re 1–3, having dropped a season-opening series to the Rangers, and having absorbed a deflating 8–0 loss to the Atlanta Braves Monday night. This is a vanishingly tiny sample size, and the Cubs were picked by various experts to win anywhere between 82 and 93 games, so most of what has happened so far should, for now, be chalked up to early season rust.
But oh, what wonderful rust! It may clear up tomorrow, who the hell knows, but certainly we can enjoy it in the meantime. Monday night the Cubs committed six (6) errors, and allowed six (6) unearned runs, and lost in Atlanta by the score of 8–0. It was one of the ugliest Cubs performances in living memory:
The offense was very nearly as self-defeating, if in less spectacular fashion. The Cubs put ten runners on base through the first four innings—six hits and four walks against Braves starter Sean Newcomb—but went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and stranded all ten of them. And they mustered just three base-runners after the fourth inning, against pitchers not named Newcomb. The gruesome performance left manager Joe Maddon in a darkly comedic mood:
Any compliation of Chicago’s many defensive lowlights would cry out for the accompaniment of “Yakety Sax” or something along those lines. Here Twitter user @_SteveFrederick opted for some delightful circus music, which works just fine:
My favorites of these are Anthony Rizzo flinging the ball directly into the home dugout for his second error in one play, and David Bote picking up a ball deflected off the glove of pitcher Kyle Hendricks and wildly spiking it into the ground eight feet from the nearest teammate. Really good stuff, guys.