MIAMI – For a healthy amount of the 2022 season, it looked as if the Cubs were going to have bad bookends to a decade of baseball.
In 2012, the Cubs began their era under team president Theo Epstein and then general manager Jed Hoyer with a 61-101 record as the team went deep into a rebuild. It was the first time the team had lost 100 or more games since 1966 and was a dubious mark even if the club wasn’t expected to compete.
It looked like that could happen again exactly ten years later with Hoyer now doing his own restructuring of the ballclub as the team’s president. The Cubs finished the first half 35-57 and with heavy trades expected at the deadline, it looked as if they might be headed to a triple-digit loss season.
But the keeping of Willson Contreras and Ian Happ on the roster along with the steadily improving play of the club has switched the narrative over the last two months. Thanks to a pair of victories in Miami, that chance is now off the table.
With a triumph on Tuesday over the Marlins, the Cubs reached the 63-win mark, meaning they won’t reach 100 losses this season. They put themselves back over .500 for the second half of the season with a late comeback against the Marlins to win it 4-3, rallying from an eighth inning deficit for a win for just the fifth time all season.
Previously, they were 4-66 when entering that frame trailing their opponent.
So is missing 100 losses something to celebrate?
It depends, but avoiding infamy is never a bad thing even if expectations are low with a young team. The Cubs are 29-28 in the second half as they end the year with four games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, three against the Phillies at Wrigley Field, then six against the Reds – three in Chicago then three in Cincinnati.
Perhaps they can continue to add a few more wins as the year closes out, but at least there are no more worries about a 100-loss season anymore.