Jim Hickey: Forget The Weather, Cubs Pitchers Must Find A Rhythm

"The starting pitching simply needs to get into the strike zone," Hickey says.

Mully & Haugh Show
April 18, 2018 - 2:58 pm
Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish

Jim Young/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey isn't interested in citing the unpreditable, chilly and at-times miserable weather as a reason for his staff struggling often early in the new season.

"I don't think it's really bothered us so much in this instance right here," Hickey said on the Mully & Hanley Show on Wednesday morning. "We really haven't gotten into any kind of rhythm yet. If you're pitching every five days and you're coming off three games in a row where you've thrown seven innings or seven-plus innings and rolling and then you get out of your routine, that may be a little bit troublesome, a little bit bothersome. But I don't think that's really been much of a factor right now. 

"The games for the most part have been cancelled with plenty of notice, so it's not as if you're going through your whole entire routine ... and then getting the rug pulled out from under you. So it's a little bit troublesome, but I don't think that's really part of the problem.

The Cubs have a 3.96 ERA, which ranks 19th in baseball, but that mark has been propped up by a good bullpen. The starters have a 5.31 ERA, which is tied for the second-worst mark in the league.

Hickey thinks it's not an issue of stuff but simply command, a belief symbolized by right-hander Tyler Chatwood allowing just one hit but walking seven in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

"It's certainly about being in the strike zone," Hickey said. 

"As a whole, the starting pitching simply needs to get into the strike zone a little more. And when we have been, we've been extremely successful."