Worst Cubs starts ever

Well, the Cubs did it again—they lost another game today, their 11th straight. It’s just the 10th time in franchise history they’ve had a losing streak that long. If there’s a bright side, it’s that one of those 11-game losing streaks happened to the 1970 Cubs club, which actually ended the year with a winning record. Then again, that club had a lot more talent on it than this sad sack 2012 squad does.

The Cubs’ record now stands at 15-31, safely the worst in either league. Okay, but how does that rank in the history of this championship-deprived franchise? Well, let’s look it up.

It turns out this is the sixth time in the Cubs’ 137 seasons that they’ve dropped at least 31 of their first 46 contests.

Their worst record at this point in the season came back in 1981, when the Cubs were an inept 10-36 through 46 games. Yeah, that almost makes the 2012 team look good. (Well, no, not really, but let’s just say that anyway.) That ’81 bunch might’ve lost 100 games, but that year lost a third of its contests due to a players’ strike. The strike came in the right season for the Cubs.

The North Siders’ next worst start came in 1966, when they began 13-33. That club went on to lose over 100 games, one of two times in franchise history it’s done that.

Twice the Cubs have begun the year 14-32—in 1953 and 1957. The 1955 squad sorta recovered, playing nearly .500 the rest of the way to end the 154-game season with fewer than 90 losses. Let’s call that a moral victory. The 1957 team did a little worse, ending the year 62-92.

The Cubs began the year 15-31 in 1962, the other time the team lost 100 games on the season. Until this year, that’s the only time the Cubs began the the season with a record of 15-31 through 46 contests.

The Cubs have three 16-30 starts as well: 1943, 1948 and 1894. (The 1943 team ended the year at nearly .500, a fluke possibly caused by all the real players getting drafted for World War II as the season wore on.)

Tallying it up, in the six previous times the Cubs dropped at least 30 of their first 46 games they ended the year with an average winning percentage of .407. That’s like a team going 66-96. Yeah, that sounds about right for the Cubs so far.

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Comments

  1. kds said...

    Tom Tango suggests the following simplified regression method to estimate the final W/L from the partial season.  Add 35 wins and 35 losses to the record, getting 50-66 here apply that winning % to the rest of the season.  Since they’ve played exactly 46 games they have 116 to go, but 46+70=116, so we can just add the 50-66 we got above, finishing with 65-97.  This is very close to what you got looking at several years worth, suggesting that the method works well.

  2. southside mike said...

    Hey Cub Fans, Remember:
    “The mind is a strange thing, men.
    We must begin by asking it… …What is losing?
    Losing is a disease… …as contagious as polio.
    Losing is a disease… …as contagious as syphilis.
    Losing is a disease… …as contagious as bubonic plague…
    … attacking one… … but infecting all. But curable.”

    Nothing another century won’t cure!

  3. not in my life time said...

    1943,‘48 -1894? Nope not around for that one. My memory at my age now let’s me down as to the specifics. But my and my family’s relationship with the lovable losers was ” hey the Cubs are close to 500 ,oh boy “wait till next year!“Out side of the ‘69 season the’03(?)with Dusty Baker’s lads just a few outs away from the WS was the most impressive let down.New generations of fans go to Wrigley for a fun filled day in the confines. Many are not really concerned about the results but enjoy the day togehter in a beautiful space.500 this season- not a chance!

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