Chicago’s Bullpens By The Numbers Part II: Cubs

The wheels began moving for this piece on Monday night when Chicago’s bullpens combined to allow 9 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 5.1 innings of work as Ronald Belisario blew a save for the White Sox in the ninth in Baltimore and Hector Rondon couldn’t preserve a 1-1 tie in the ninth against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Shortly after those games concluded, the bellyaching on social media about the city’s respective bullpens began.

And that’s when I began crunching numbers.

The Cubs and White Sox bullpens are among the leaders in a category bullpens don’t want to be in — losses. The Cubs’ 15 losses ranks tied for second with Boston and the LA Dodgers, while their 8 bullpen wins is tied for the third fewest with the Cardinals. The White Sox’s 13 losses is tied with Colorado, Miami, the Yankees, Mariners, Rays and Rangers for fourth most, but their 12 wins sits near the middle of the pack.

We started with the White Sox and wrap up with the Cubs after the jump.
Continue reading

Chicago’s Bullpens By The Numbers Part I: White Sox

The wheels began moving for this piece on Monday night when Chicago’s bullpens combined to allow 9 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 5.1 innings of work as Ronald Belisario blew a save for the White Sox in the ninth in Baltimore and Hector Rondon couldn’t preserve a 1-1 tie in the ninth against the Reds at Wrigley Field.

Shortly after those games concluded, the bellyaching on social media about the city’s respective bullpens began.

And that’s when I began crunching numbers.

The Cubs and White Sox bullpens are among the leaders in a category bullpens don’t want to be in — losses. The Cubs’ 15 losses ranks tied for second with Boston, while the White Sox’s 13 losses is tied with Colorado, Miami, the Yankees, Mariners, Rays and Rangers.

And yet, Chicago’s bullpens couldn’t be further from each other on the spectrum.

We’ll start with the White Sox, whose bullpen has been the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

Continue reading

On the Cubs & recent drafts…

For my money, the MLB Draft is the most intriguing draft in professional sports.

Yes, the NFL Draft is a huge event that generates revenue and an even bigger TV audience. And the NBA Draft features the most noticeable players, thanks in part to March Madness, the seemingly endless prep basketball cycle of scouting and the growing accessibility to European basketball.

But save for the NHL Draft, I’m not sure there is a diverse talent pool to choose from as large as the one for the MLB Draft. High school seniors. College seniors. College juniors. Junior college. And I imagine it would be larger if international players could be added to the mix. It’s more difficult to project what an 18-year-old high school senior can be (talent, body type, etc.) on a baseball diamond than it is to project what a 21-year-old you’ve seen on Saturday’s on the gridiron or during March Madness. But that’s part of the allure of baseball’s draft.

And why I think it’s silly when teams are labeled winners and losers after one day of drafting.

Continue reading

Obligatory Blackhawks Post Mortem (And Other Chicago Sports Refresher) Blog

Well, that sucked.

I mean, unless you were a neutral, Red Wings, Blues or Wild fan, of course.

The Blackhawks defense of the Stanley Cup ended on a fluke-ish goal about five minutes into overtime that went off Nick Leddy’s arm pit and past Corey Crawford. That’s hockey. Heck. That’s overtime hockey in a nutshell. Weird bounces and randomness lead to interesting finishes.

Usually, there is anger when a team is eliminated from playoff contention in that manner. Especially when said team blew an early 2-0 lead and three leads in total at home in Game 7. Not to mention a two-goal lead in Game 2 and a slew of others along the way. Still, I’m not feeling that in Chicago. Disappointment, yes. But not so much anger.

I guess two Stanley Cups in a four year stretch puts things in perspective. Knowing that Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith will be back for more moving forward probably helps lessen the sting a bit, too.

In the end, the most competitive playoff series this postseason had to end with one championship-caliber team being eliminated. It’s a shame it had to be the Blackhawks.

I’m sure the TV execs at NBC aren’t too thrilled. Sure, they’ll get the nation’s two biggest markets in New York and Los Angeles, but will they get the viewership.

The Blackhawks/Kings clincher secured a 22.7 rating in Chicago and a 4.8 rating in Los Angeles. The Rangers’ Game 6 clincher against the Candiens in the Eastern Conference Final registered an 8.5 For as much guff as Hawks fans get, there is no questioning the numbers here. Fans turned out in droves to watch this team. I’d be curious to see the drop off after Stanley Cup Final.

Alas, that leaves us pondering “what’s next?” in Chicago. Continue reading