Let's get something out of the way first:
The Cubs are in the National League Championship Series and only trailing 1-0 after one game in which the team was mentally and physically drained following a lit, emotional NLDS Game 5 and subsequent cross-country journey from the east coast to the west coast which also included an emergency stop in New Mexico. Oh yeah and the Cubs also were forced to face the best pitcher on the planet.
So there's no reason for Cubs fans to run for the hills waving their arms in panic and yelling obscenities.
Also worth noting: This is a best-of-7 series, so there's not quite as much randomness and there is more time for the Cubs to right the ship and clinch their second straight World Series bid.
But for right now, things are bleak and here are the main reasons why:
Jose Quintana has the second-highest postseason batting average on the Cubs.
Everybody is complaining about the bullpen, and they are due their fair share of frustration from the Cubs' fanbase over the last six games. More on that to come.
But the offense has been horrendous in October. They finished the NLDS with a .180 batting average and somehow went DOWN in Game 1 of the NLCS.
The Cubs are now hitting .172 (31-for-180) as a team with only Albert Almora Jr. (3-for-9) and Quintana (1-for-4) hitting above .222.
Batting average isn't everything, of course, but hits are still the best way to score runs and scoring runs is still necessary to wins.
The Cubs scored 9 runs in NLDS Game 5. They have 10 runs in the four other postseason games combined.
Besides Game 5, the Cubs have averaged 2 runs per game this fall.
Sure, all six of those games have been started by National League Cy Young finalists (Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez), but the Cubs keep reiterating that if they want to be the best, they gotta beat the best. They just aren't beating the best offensively this fall.
It's not like they faced scrubs in the magical 2016 World Series run, either, forced to face Kershaw twice plus Corey Kluber three times in the World Series and Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto on the NLDS.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have combined for 18 Ks and only 3 BBs.
That's a 6:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
In the 2017 regular season, the two superstars combined for 218 strikeouts compared to 186 walks. That's a 1.17:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
You want to know why the offense has struggled? Its two best hitters have regressed mightily.
But they have found ways to drive in 8 runs and of course, there are still at least three games to climb out of their funk.
Rizzo was off to a rough start to the postseason last year, too, and found his groove again at Dodger Stadium. Matt Szczur isn't around to lend Rizzo his bat again, but can the face of the Cubs find his groove in Hollywood Sunday?
Four Cubs relievers have combined for a 17.06 ERA and 3.16 WHIP.
Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Hector Rondon and John Lackey have combined to surrender 12 earned runs, 20 baserunners and four homers in 6.1 innings.
Lackey and Rondon just pitched for the first time Saturday, combining to get 6 outs while allowing two hits, a walk, a run and a homer.
It's Edwards and Montgomery that are killing the Cubs out of the bullpen. Two of the most important relievers in Maddon's bullpen have struggled to gain any semblance of rhythm this October and that needs to change immediately if the Cubs have any visions of heading to Houston or New York later this month.
Wade Davis has saved three games and bailed the Cubs out big time in Game 5 Thursday, but he's still allowed seven baserunners (three walks and four hits, including a homer) and two runs in 4.1 innings, so he's been far from a shutdown reliever, too.
Brian Duensing and Pedro Strop have combined to allow only three baserunners in 4.2 innings (two walks and a hit) and just one run. So maybe they see their number called more as this NLCS moves along.
The starting rotation has just a 1-1 record.
Wins are a completely overrated stat, but the Cubs starters have been absolutely incredible this postseason.
Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Jose Quintana have teamed up for this stat line in their starts: 1.99 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 19 hits, 7 earned runs, 14 walks, 30 strikeouts in 31.2 innings.
That's the kind of line that should elicit far more than a 1-1 record, especially when going up against the high-powered offenses of Washington and Los Angeles.