CHICAGO — There was a moment on Friday when it looked like the Cubs offense might enjoy the kind of breakout day the team has been starving for this season. And it arrived only three pitches into the afternoon.
Ian Happ slashed a pitch from Braves righty Kyle Wright off the bricks in left-center for a leadoff hit, providing a quick spark. However, like a stubborn match on a cold day, the offense just could not light the flame, leading to a 5-2 loss at Wrigley Field.
“You’re kind of waiting for that day when you really break out big,” said bench coach Andy Green, who filled in as manager while David Ross served a one-game suspension.
Here is a look at two statistics that tell the story of the Cubs’ offensive showing out of the gates this season.
.084 average with runners in scoring position
The Cubs did not lack opportunities on Friday afternoon, but the first inning was an unfortunate snapshot of the team’s shortcomings to date.
Following Happ’s leadoff single — he thought better of pushing for two bases when left fielder Marcell Ozuna got the ball in swiftly — Willson Contreras was hit by a pitch. From there, Wright set down Anthony Rizzo (groundout), Kris Bryant (strikeout) and Javier Báez (flyout) in order.
“Listen,” Rizzo said, “the more we put guys on base, the more opportunities we get to hit with guys on base. And the…