"Progress" Tracker: April Edition

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Progress" Tracker: April Edition

. Wednesday, May 2, 2012


So April's over. Terrible, terrible April. A team that no one thought would contend ... managed to still disappoint hardened liquor-drinking WAIW bloggers with an 8-15 month. So that happened. But we're still here, planning Pub Crawls and new conspiracy theories about exactly what universal forces are mustering to turn Carlos Marmol into LaTroy Hawkins. When one loss melts into another, you tend to get a fuzzy, depressing overall picture of the whole campaign. Last year, for example. Or the year before. So we're going to track the offensive and defensive prowess for the year to date each month. And if we don't, then at least I can point you to this post and say we intended to.

April 2012 Stats

Record
8-15 overall (7 games back)
5-8 at Wrigley
3-7 everywhere else
5-8 NL Central
82 runs scored
103 runs against

Offense
Runs scored - 82 (24th in MLB)
Average - .237 (24th)
OBP - .294 (24th)
SLG - .339 (27th)

Pitching
ERA - 4.21 (22nd)
Quality starts - 12 (18th)
WHIP - 1.32 (18th)
Avg. Against - .237 (10th)

Analysis

Good sweet crap, we're bad at hitting. But, on a Zen note, we're hitting at exactly the rate that our pitchers allow other teams to hit at (.237). No, that doesn't make me feel better. Yes, I know this is a useless stat. I'm not on trial here!

You know how for that initial foray into clinical depression we at least hung our hat on Dempster and Garza getting screwed by a lack of offense? Turns out the pitching probably isn't as good as you thought. Our two big guns both sport a WHIP of under 1.00, but since Demp's time on the DL, Volstad, Samardzija, and now Randy Wells have spent their time exploding that particular category as much as can be humanly expected. Randy Wells has a WHIP (2.08) higher than the ERA of 3/5ths of the Phillies staff. The only two Cubs pitchers with higher WHIP numbers? Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood. I don't think this is what fans had in mind.

Weirdly enough, the K/9 and WHIP lead on the Cubs both go to Scott Maine, at 15.88 and 0.53, respectively. A couple more innings of this and the front office will schedule a poorly-advised bobblehead night.

WAIW MVPs for April

Offense - Bryan LaHair: 59 AB, 23H, 11R, 5HR, 14RBI, .390/.471/.780, 1.251 OPS


Color me surprised. I guess with all the new faces I was predicting to fail, one had to defy my expectations, for statistical probability if nothing else. I drew comparisons to Kosuke Fukudome the other day, but LaHair's April is far more impressive, especially since he was by no means entrenched to start the year. In three fewer games and 31 fewer at-bats than (only?) beloved Cubs hitter Starlin Castro, LaHair is beating the shortstop in every hitting category except triples and hits (23 to Castro's 30). He's tied for the team lead with 14 RBIs, has taken more walks, and  ... let's just move along before we look at the K numbers.

Defense - Matt Garza: 2-1, 5GS, 33.2 IP, 0.89 WHIP, 36K, 2.67 ERA

After that Phillies game, could it be anyone else? Games like that are what I hold onto when I'm sitting in the stands come July drinking warm Old Style and watching Shawn Camp give up doubles to the wall against the Pirates. He's pitching out of his mind, even knowing that we're more than likely going to smack three weak liners/grounders/fly balls right to the opposing team in the next half-inning and send him back to the rubber after 8 pitches. That's dedication. Or maybe they put blinders on him in the dugout to keep him from smacking the shit out of Soto. Who knows.

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