Last year, the Chicago Cubs won 103 games – their most since 1910 – and won their first World Series title since 1908. It was a glorious season that ended 108 years of depression and angst.
But this year? The Cubs (20-19) are in third place in the NL Central entering play May 18.
Scott Miller didn’t think the Cubs would win 103 games this year, but he certainly didn’t think they’d be this mediocre roughly one-fourth of the way through the season.
“I figured there would be a post-World Series letdown simply because I pay attention to history,” the Bleacher Report MLB writer said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It always happens. There’s a reason why in baseball with the extra layer of playoffs (that) we have not had a back-to-back World Series winner since the Yankees of 1998, 1999 and 2000. That’s the last time anybody won back-to-back. What we’ve seen over the years with the extra round of the playoffs has been usually the next year there’s been a fatigue, especially among the pitching staff of the World Series winner because they just have so many grind-it-out meaningful pitches in the month of October that there’s usually a malaise the next year. They’re just not as sharp.”
Jake Arrieta is 4-3 with a 5.44 ERA. John Lackey is 4-3 with a 4.37 ERA. Jon Lester’s ERA (3.45) is more than a full run higher than it was last season (2.44).
“So based on that, I figured the Cubs wouldn’t have it as easy as they did last year,” Miller said. “And not to disrespect them. They didn’t have it easy, but they made it look easy. I figured it would be harder because after the first 31 games last year, they were 25-6. Those seasons come along like once in a lifetime. That last year was the Cubs. This year I thought they still had enough to win. I thought it would be much more difficult, but I did not expect them to be hovering around .500 right now. No way.”