2003 Chicago Cubs Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Chicago Cubs. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



NL Central Standings The National League Central Race

The Cubs are that white line with blue dots in the graph on the left. Chicago started out very strong -- they were in first place for most of the first two months of the year -- only to experience the "June swoon" that is so dreaded in the Windy City. In this case, however, it was more of a late June/early July swoon, coinciding with the season-ending injury to Corey Patterson.

The good news is that the Cubs picked it up and won the division crown on the last weekend. In particular, management made some good moves to bolster the offense, and the Cubs' young pitching stepped it up the last two months.





Comments How to Read this Graph

The Cubs lagged far behind the Astros in run differential. But the Astros suffered a severe Pythagorean deficit, and the Cubs beat their Pythagorean projection by almost three games (they were 27-17 in one-run games). Together, these two variances put the Cubs over the top.

If you roll your mouse over the graph, you will be able to see how the Cubs improved over the second half of the year. In fact, they were slightly below the .500 line at mid-year (right there with Colorado) but a big improvement in pitching moved them straight up and over .500.

The Cubs had a below-average offense due to their .323 On Base Average. Their slugging percentage was around league average.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Cubs' Pitching and Fielding

The Cubbie's pitching was second only to the Dodgers. Their team FIP was 0.62. The FIP team leader was Mark Prior at
-0.69. Borowski was -0.15, Zambrano was 0.29 and Wood was 0.38. Great young pitching.

On the other hand, the Cubs' fielding left something to be desired. Both DER and straightforward fielding were below league averages. The starting pitcher with the worst DER was Prior at .698; Zambrano was at .726 and Wood: .741. Clement had the highest DER at .746.

Among fielders, Miller, Gonzalez and Grudzielanek were good to above-average, but the Cubs' outfielders were lacking. That's why the pitchers with the highest DERs tended to be ground ball pitchers. Zambrano (2.28)and Clement (2.01) had the highest GB/FB ratios.

How to Read this Graph


Chicago Cubs Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .345 .314 .318 .322 .307 .323
SLG .417 .393 .411 .446 .383 .439
FIP 0.33 0.51 1.05 1.50 0.38 0.09
DER .723 .736 .704 .735 .705 .706
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Cubs Day-by-Day

The Cubs were one of the most consistent teams in the league. The midseason slump was the only time they lost as few as three games out of ten. That was the time of year when the White Sox took four of six in the Windy City series.

Their fast start was a credit to the offense. In fact, April was the team's only month with above-average OBP. Sosa was the team leader that first month with a .446 OBP.

Looking at the monthly FIP numbers, you can see the pitching start strong, sag a bit in midseason, then come on strong at the end of the year. In September, they blew the rest of the division away.



Chicago Cubs' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS	
--------	----	----	-----	-----	-----	-----	---	
M Prior         CHC     P       0.00    0.00    22.47   22.47   22	
S Sosa          CHC     OF      19.79   1.98    0.00    21.77   22	
M Alou          CHC     OF      18.20   1.92    0.00    20.12   20	
M Grudzielanek  CHC     2B      12.58   5.61    0.00    18.19   18	
C Zambrano      CHC     P       0.49    0.00    17.15   17.63   18	
K Wood          CHC     P       0.00    0.00    17.56   17.56   18	
A Gonzalez      CHC     SS      6.46    9.11    0.00    15.57   16	
J Borowski      CHC     P       0.00    0.00    13.97   13.97   14	
C Patterson     CHC     OF      11.16   1.77    0.00    12.93   13	
M Clement       CHC     P       0.00    0.00    10.52   10.52   10	
D Miller        CHC     C       3.36    6.75    0.00    10.11   10	
A Ramirez       CHC     3B      7.47    1.72    0.00    9.20    9	
K Lofton        CHC     OF      7.18    1.59    0.00    8.77    9	
E Karros        CHC     1B      6.63    1.17    0.00    7.80    8	
R Martinez      CHC     2B      4.07    3.20    0.00    7.27    7	
K Farnsworth    CHC     P       0.00    0.00    7.17    7.17    7	
M Remlinger     CHC     P       0.00    0.00    5.86    5.86    6	
H Choi          CHC     1B      4.74    0.91    0.00    5.66    6	
P Bako          CHC     C       2.22    2.82    0.00    5.04    5	
R Simon         CHC     1B      4.61    0.36    0.00    4.97    5	
M Guthrie       CHC     P       0.00    0.00    4.04    4.04    4	
T Goodwin       CHC     OF      2.73    0.72    0.00    3.44    3	
M Bellhorn      CHC     3B      2.13    0.95    0.00    3.08    3	
D Veres         CHC     P       0.00    0.00    1.94    1.94    2	
T O'Leary       CHC     OF      0.97    0.71    0.00    1.68    2	
A Alfonseca     CHC     P       0.00    0.00    1.11    1.11    1	
T Hubbard       CHC     OF      0.95    0.05    0.00    1.00    1	
A Benes         CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.98    0.98    1	
L Harris        CHC     3B      0.00    0.62    0.00    0.62    1	
D Glanville     CHC     OF      0.00    0.61    0.00    0.61    1	
J Hernandez     CHC     3B      0.00    0.60    0.00    0.60    1	
T Womack        CHC     SS      0.17    0.41    0.00    0.58    1	
A Ojeda         CHC     SS      0.00    0.42    0.00    0.42    0	
J Cruz          CHC     P       0.36    0.00    0.00    0.36    0	
S Estes         CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.28    0.28    0	
J Paul          CHC     C       0.00    0.28    0.00    0.28    0	
B Hill          CHC     2B      0.21    0.01    0.00    0.21    0	
D Kelton        CHC     OF      0.04    0.07    0.00    0.11    0	
P Norton        CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.06    0.06    0	
S Mitre         CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
F Sanchez       CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
T Wellemeyer    CHC     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Cubs' Individual Players

Given the way he led the team to the division title, it is appropriate that Mark Prior lead the team in Win Shares. Sammy Sosa had a fine year too, though it was not up to previous years. Moises Alou's fine year should also not be overlooked.

Carlos Zambrano came on strong to rank eighth among National League pitchers in Win Shares. Obviously, Kerry Wood had a very fine year too, and Matt Clement was one of the best fourth starters in the league. Joe Borowski was one of the best stories in the league, and the epitome of a "found" (i.e. unfunded) bullpen ace.

Corey Patterson was actually leading the team in Win Shares when he went down in early July. The Cubs' management reaction was spectacular; both Ramirez and Lofton contributed nine Win Shares in less than half a year and Randall Simon added five. Even the offseason deals of Hundley for Grudz and Karros, as well as the Damian Miller deal paid off. The Cubs got 26 Win Shares from the former Dodger duo (Hundley and Hermanson had a total of two Win Shares for the Dogers) and Miller contributed ten, primarily on defense.



You can view all National League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position