Cubs set NL record for most strikeouts through first 5 games

Big League Stew

The Chicago Cubs are no strangers to striking out.

In today’s all-or-nothing aggressive approach to offense in baseball, the Cubs are not afraid to hack away when home runs are the reward.

But they probably weren’t looking to set a record pace. That’s where they stand on Monday after 11 strikeouts in a 1-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds with rookie Tyler Mahle on the mound.

With 58 strikeouts through five games, Chicago has set a new early-season standard for whiffing, according to ESPN.

Center fielder Ian Happ leads the way with 10, while catcher Willson Contreras has eight and Anthony Rizzo has five. Four other Cubs players have five strikeouts so far.

Ian Happ leads the strikeout-prone Cubs with 10 whiffs through five games. (AP)
Ian Happ leads the strikeout-prone Cubs with 10 whiffs through five games. (AP)

Manager Joe Maddon told the Chicago Tribune that he wants to see improvement, but isn’t that concerned, especially with a 17-inning, 20-strikeout performance with eight whiffs in extra innings as part of that mix.

“It’s been exacerbated by the 17-inning game,” Maddon said. “We’ve struck out a lot. But there’s a higher number based on that one game. But we have to be better.”

And, of course, with the 162-game season being five games old, it’s silly to ring alarm bells.

The Cubs are 2-3, and that’s just fine for now.

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