You’ve probably heard of the expression, “baseball’s gonna baseball” which basically means you can never assume anything in this sport. You have your ace pitcher going up against a terrible? Easy win, right? Bam, you lose 5-1. Baseball’s gonna baseball.
And here’s another case of that, as the Cubs have started the 2020 season with an NL-best 7-2 record and they’ve done it with the worst bullpen in MLB.
Through 29 innings of work, Cubs relievers have combined for an 8.07 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, (ranked 29th) 23 walks (tied for 6th most) and have given up 10 home runs. (tied for most)
But despite all the near heart attacks given to fans through the first 10 days of the season, the Cubs do find themselves in great shape. The hilarious part is through the first nine game of the season, the Cubs pretty much have the same bad bullpen as last year.
Yet, the team record has flipped.
Hey, you can’t say the bullpen hasn’t improved!
What’s even more ridiculous is that the bullpen this year was actually trending to be A LOT worse than how it started in 2019. I mean, it took five scoreless innings from relievers on Sunday to bring that ERA down to 8.07.
Through the first eight games the bullpen ERA was close to 10!
But the thing is, and it’s really hard to believe at this point, but there actually is some room for optimism in this group for 2020?
Yeah, Craig Kimbrel looks broken, but at least he’s not the closer anymore and as we saw on Sunday, David Ross stayed away from him when the game was tied throughout the late innings.
However, there are some guys who are showing some nasty stuff. Ryan Tepera and Casey Sadler look pretty good, while Jeremy Jeffress and Rowan Wick give you some confidence pitching in high leverage situations in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively.
The major difference from 2019, is that the Cubs aren’t handcuffed with the relievers they have. A whole bunch of these guys either signed minor league deals or a one-year MLB contract. The Cubs have the flexibility to send guys down if they’re struggling and hey we’re finally seeing some of the pitching prospects get a chance too.
But yeah, we’re seeing the struggles that you’d expect from a bullpen that’s trying to figure out who’s good and who’s not, but it’s absolutely hilarious that we’re in the same situation as last year, with the exact opposite team results.
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