The Chicago Cubs have gotten a decent effort from their starting pitchers in 2014 but their biggest weakness has been all of the walks they issue. According to ESPN.com the Cubs are tied for 8th in the league in walks surrendered with 315 on the year. The two biggest culprits being Travis Wood (52) and Edwin Jackson (49), who rank 5th and 8th in the league in free passes, per MLB.com.
The Chicago Cubs’ 3.3 walks/9 innings is well above the league average of 3.0, according to baseball-reference.com, and this is such a big deal because walks always seem to score; lead-off walks in particular. Hitters who start the inning with a walk score 37.98 percent of the time, according to Fangraphs.com and can often times be the deciding factor in who wins the game. Take last night’s game for example; Jake Arrieta threw a solid game but got into trouble late and finished the night with three walks in 6.2 innings. If you do the simple math, one of those runs does not score it Arrieta doesn’t walk anybody, which would have kept the game tied 2-2 and given the Cubs a chance to win.
There’s not much the Cubs can do this year, but as they begin to build their rotation for the future getting guys who can throw strikes is a must.
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