The 2019 season is just six games in, and many teams with high expectations are not performing as expected.
Granted, there are over 150 games remaining in the season for them to turn things around, but the performance of the Chicago Cubs has been staggering, especially in regards to pitching. And they made some history, albeit the bad kind.
As of Thursday's game with the Braves, the Cubs have recorded 39 unintentional walks, the most a Cubs team has allowed since 1958.
Cubs with 39 unintentional walks so far. 1958 was last Cubs team with that many through 6 games.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) April 5, 2019
Chicago's woes don't just end at walks. Entering Thursday's game against the Atlanta Braves, the Cubs had a team ERA of 6.75, with only the Arizona Diamondbacks having a worse overall average, sitting at a team ERA of 7.14.
Perhaps the pitcher performing at his lowest is Yu Darvish, who is in the second season of his $126 million deal. So far, Darvish has allowed 6 earned runs across 6.2 innings pitched, and walked an insane 11 batters during that span. That's good for an 8.71 ERA and an even worse 2.74 WHIP.
Oh, and the bullpen has done everything except close out games. In fact, they have walked more batters than they've actually pitched innings.
Cubs relievers have now walked 19 batters in 17.1 innings on the season.— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) April 5, 2019
Look, there's still plenty of baseball to go, but the Cubs are experiencing a grand wake up call early on this season. With the Milwaukee Brewers leading the NL Central by a significant margin, the Cubs have to solve their pitching problems and fast.