Facebook statuses of me complaining about the Cubs

The 2024 Cubs Have played an Entire Season and it’s April.

The post-2016 era of Chicago Cubs baseball has been a little strange. Just from a fan perspective, rooting for the team who didn’t have the tremendous weight of not winning a championship for over 100 years has made watching the team less stressful. Even when watching the second half of 2021 after they sold off the main members of the team who brought that championship and 2022 when the team just wasn’t very good, was more enjoyable when it kind of feels like there’s a clean slate with the franchise.

But the Cubs since that championship, had some fairly unique seasons. They were a team that seemed destined for a dynasty but just never could quite get there. In 2017 they kind of treaded water until they got hot in the second half of the season, somewhat catapulted by trading prospects Dylan Cease and Eloy Jiminez for Jose Quintana. It is a trade that has been lampooned a bit by Cubs fans and I understand it (however Jiminez has had issues with injuries) Especially as Quintana struggled for most of his Cubs career however he was a big factor in that team making the playoffs in 2017. They also won a playoff series (something they actually haven’t done since) and got beat by a buzzsaw Los Angeles Dodgers team in 5 games (Though the Cubs actually had leads in the first 2 games of that series, losing game 1 in extra innings. That’s often forgotten and kind of annoying to think about again)

The 2018 team seems overlooked by Cubs fans as the season did end in the Wild Card round after blowing a division lead to the frustrating Milwaukee Brewers but that team won 95 games that season. It was a season that Cubs fans would have remembered much more fondly if it had occurred before the 2015 season and it ended due to a ridiculous hot streak buy the Brewers to end the season while the Cubs played, what felt like, 100 games in a row without a day off. Even with that it took a Cardinals player falling down rounding third base in a game between the Brewers and Cardinals late in the season to keep the Cubs from winning the division (there were probably a lot of other things to point to here as well)

In 2019, the Cubs were good but there was a sense that the wheels were falling off a little bit, especially late in the season. Joe Maddon was fired and the Cubs collapsed late and missed the playoffs.

In 2020 the Cubs actually won the division during the weird Covid 60 game season but got swept in the first round by the Miami Marlins in what is probably the most famous playoff series between those 2 franchises (oh, wait.)

In 2021 the Cubs unexpectedly contended for the division for quite sometime (it was expected that the Cubs would struggle and sell off all the players on expiring contracts “The Core” if you will) but as the trade deadline approached things got a little confusing and interesting the more and more the Cubs were competitive. We didn’t really get to see what exactly would have happened at the trade dead line however as the Cubs went on a massive losing streak (immediately following a no hitter vs the Dodgers, who were likely the best team in baseball at the time. God this sport is stupid)

Anthony Rizzo jersey in locker
Anthony Rizzo played for the Cubs. Then he didn’t play for the Cubs.

2022 was a complete transition year and honestly one of the more fun seasons I had watching the Cubs as there was no expectations or weight of a championship hanging over the team but they did suck. They won 74 games (which honestly wasn’t as bad as I remember)

In 2023 the Cubs got off to an unexpected good start then got ice cold and looked very far from being a playoff team then they catapolted themselves in to sure playoff position only to lose their way out of sure playoff position (losing a playoff spot to a Diamondbacks team who had 1 win more than them and went the the friggen’ World Series) It was a weird season in the sense that the expectation were to maybe challenge for a playoff spot heading in but then they just kept changing as the year went on only to kick you in the face once the season ended.

I say all of this to talk about the 2024 Cubs and while it’s silly to give a full analysis of a team in April, especially with a third of the month to go. The 2024 Chicago Cubs have felt like they’ve played an entire season already. On opening day they lost a game in which it was tied in the 9th on a homer vs the defending champion Texas Rangers (after taking the lead on a weird wild pitch where the batter fouled the ball off but the umpire didn’t call it but still wouldn’t have happened if the catcher didn’t plead with the umpire instead of just picking up the baseball) They lost an extra inning game vs the Arizona Diamond backs after leading by 3 late following a late grand slam from the right side of the plate by Ian Happ (he hits for more power from the left)….which included a late game tying homer in the 9th inning. They lost a game vs the San Diego Padres in which they led 8-0….there was a go ahead homer in the 8th inning. They lost a game vs the Miami Marlins in which they allowed a 2 run homer in…the 9th inning to lose.

The Cubs have had some close wins in there as well. What stands out the most is catching a line drive vs the Dodgers which prevented late runs to score (can’t remember if it would have tied or given the Dodgers the lead but either way it ended the game) and a game in Arizona in which the Cubs scored the tying run from second in the 9th on a wild pitch.

This is a season in which the Cubs have blown a lot of saves. They have injuries currently to Justin Steele (likely their best pitcher), Seiya Suzuki (likely their best hitter), Julian Merryweather (a top bullpen arm from last year) Jameson Taillon (an expected starter) Ian Happ (one of the better hitters and defenders on the team) and a Kyle Hendricks who looks very much passed his prime. They’ve had a schedule that featured a 9 game west coast road trip, a series vs the Rangers and a series vs the Dodgers yet they are currently 13-8 despite all of this. I’m not sure what to make of this season. They have a +21 run differential but it feels like you can’t keep blowing leads.

They’ve had to manage the pitching staff like playoff baseball almost as the pitching staff doesn’t seem to get deep into games and while there is some depth to the team the injuries certainly aren’t going to help. As of right now the team looks like a decent ball club with room to grow which seems like a nice place to be but when there are other clubs like the Braves and Dodgers who feel like super teams (I know the Dodgers aren’t clicking yet but they still seem like a team that’s going to take over at some point though I feel their pitching could be better) it feels like they aren’t quite in a spot i’d like to be but then again when there are 3 Wild Cards and a mediocre team just made the World Series a year ago…..well, maybe they are in a good spot. Either way after 21 games the 2024 Chicago Cubs have felt like they’ve played an entire season and I’m tired.

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