By the numbers: April an odd month for Cubs

By the numbers: April an odd month for Cubs
May 2, 2014, 9:45 am
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Chris Kamka

The Cubs may not have jumped off to the start you hoped for. But if you're a baseball fan like I am, you're able to appreciate the game and the little things within the game like the ones listed below.

Pardon me if they may be a tad obscure. That's how I operate. (Note: All numbers and ranks are through the end of April)

1 - Home run by Cubs 30 years old or older this season. That was a Justin Ruggiano blast on April 23rd.

1 - Total of third inning runs allowed this season by the Cubs.

2 - Consecutive Opening Day scoreless starts for Jeff Samardzija; he's the first Cubs pitcher with scoreless start in two straight Opening Days since Lon Warneke in 1933-34.

2 - Consecutive extra inning games to start 2014, the first time the Cubs opened a season with two straight extra inning games since 1964. Both games, both seasons at Pittsburgh.

2 - Losses for Carlos Villanueva in the Cubs' first two games of 2014: first pitcher to get loss in team's first two games since Ryan Madson (PHI) in 2007. Madson didn't lose again that year, although Villanueva hasn't been as lucky.

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2 - Games with 4+ RBI for Travis Wood; first Cubs pitcher with as many as two 4-RBI games since Charlie Root (both in 1929).

2 - Shutout losses at Yankee Stadium on April 16th. The Cubs are the first team to suffer a doubleheader shutout in interleague play.

3 - Decisions for Carlos Villanueva (1-2) through Cubs' first 6 games; is first Cubs pitcher since Hippo Vaughn (2-1) in 1918 with three decisions in team's first 6 games.

3 - Cubs starters with outstanding numbers:
** 0.692 - MLB-leading WHIP for Jason Hammel. Best Cubs WHIP through April (min 20 IP) since Lon Warneke's 0.655 in 1934.
** 1.98 - ERA for Jeff Samardzija...despite being held without a win. He's the only Cubs pitcher (1914-present) with 5+ Starts, a sub-2.00 ERA and no wins through April.
** 9.10 - K/9IP for Travis Wood

4 - Players tied with 4 HR for Cubs team lead: Welington Castillo, Mike Olt, Starlin Castro & Anthony Rizzo.

7 - Career game as Cubs manager that Rick Renteria earned his first ejection. Earliest into Cubs managerial career since Joe Altobelli got tossed in only game as Cubs manager 5/21/91 (going by Retrosheet logs).

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98 - Different players used by Cubs since Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer took over for the 2012 season.

100 - Anniversary of Wrigley Field on April 19th.
100 - Anniversary of the birth of Harry Caray on March 1st.
100 - Anniversary of the birth of Bill Veeck (after all, he planted the ivy) on February 9th.

1969 - Ernie Banks did these two things in that year:
** Started the season with two consecutive 3-hit games. Emilio Bonifacio (4 hits, 5 hits) in 2014 was first Cub to do it since.
** His first four HR of season came on two separate multi-HR games (Apr 8 & May 13). Starlin Castro (Apr 8 & Apr 27) in 2014 was first Cub to do it since. Castro's two home runs April 8th were off Charlie Morton. Morton's 0.45 HR/9IP was the Lowest HR/9IP from 2011-13 (min. 300 IP).

.365/.423/.492 - What Cubs lefty batters are hitting against left-handed pitching through April (in 72 plate appearances). This is boosted primarily by Anthony Rizzo's .387/.474/.613 (with 2 HR) in 38 PA.

.348/.397 - MLB leading batting average, second highest OBP in MLB from the leadoff spot by the Cubs so far this season.