If you’re a fan of the Astros, Mets or Angels, I envy you. The very first time your team came to bat this season, they put up multiple runs. Before three outs were recorded by the other team, your team sent multiple players across the plate. That’s a nice piece of hitting to start the season, isn’t it?
Fans of the Rays, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies and Nationals have nothing to complain about, either. They were retired in the first inning of the first game, but came back and put a crooked number on their opponents in the second inning of game one of their respective seasons. Still, not a bad way to start the 2014 season.
Twins fans got to see their first crooked inning in the third inning of game one, and the Royals, Dodgers and Brewers put up their first crooked number in inning four of game one. Miami came through in the fifth inning of opening day, as did the Tigers, Giants and Mariners in inning seven. The Yankees, Blue Jays and Padres came through in the eighth inning, and the Indians put their first crooked number on the board in the ninth. In all, 20 of the the 30 teams in MLB scored multiple runs in one inning in their first games of the year.
Oakland didn’t get around to a multi-run inning until the second inning of game two, and the Red Sox put it off until the third inning. Baltimore was the latest bloomer in the American League, when it scored multiple runs in the fourth inning of game two.
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In the National League, the Rockies came through in the fourth inning of game two, and Atlanta did so in the fifth inning. And Arizona finally found their offense in Australia during the ninth inning of their second game of the year. By the end of the second game of this year, 26 of MLB’s 30 teams had pushed across more than one run in a single inning.
The Cardinals and Reds made their fans wait until the third game of the season for a crooked inning, with the Reds breaking through in the first inning and the Cards returning the favor in the second. The Pirates didn’t find their offensive stroke until the seventh inning of game three, and by the end of the third game of the season, 29 out of 30 teams had posted a crooked number on the scoreboard at least once.
And then there’s my team, the Chicago Cubs. This story wouldn’t have been written if it were any other team in this situation, but the Cubs offense has been horrifically bad this year. So bad that I spent half an hour paging through game results, frantically searching for another team to match the Cubs ineptitude. Sadly, I found none. Not only did the Cubs fail to score more than a single, isolated run in any inning for the first three games this season, they’ve now pushed it beyond four full games, and into five complete games. So fans of every other team in MLB have had more to cheer about so far this year than Cubs fans have.
I did some research, because I like to torture myself sometimes, and I discovered this is the longest such streak for the Cubs since 1963. Yes, it’s been a half century since the offense has been so inept at the start of a season. The Cubs had four future Hall of Famers on their roster that year (Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Lou Brock and Ron Santo), but they couldn’t push multiple runs across the plate until the eighth inning of the eighth game of the year. This year’s team isn’t there yet, but they are getting closer with each game. Hopefully, they’ll decide to put a stop to this, and soon.