Joe Maddon’s Cubs Accomplishing a Number of Feats
By: Alex Patt
The Chicago Cubs clinched their fourth-straight winning season (over .500) with their 6–4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. Going into Thursday’s game against the Nationals, the Cubs overall record under Joe Maddon (2015-present) is 374–250 (.598). With 82 wins and a little less than a month to go, the Cubs are on pace (baring an awful collapse) to have their fourth-straight 90+ win season.
This is a very rare occurrence for this franchise. The last time the Cubs had four-plus seasons with a record over .500 was 1967–1972. Strangely enough, none of those teams made the postseason. In that time they went 515–449 (.532) with only one 90+ win season in 1969 when they won 92 games and lost out on October to the New York “Miracle” Mets.
Other consecutive winning-season streaks the past 40 years have been rare. 1973–2002 was a near-three decade period in which the Cubs had only five seasons above .500 and four playoff appearances. None of those were back-to-back. Adding up the wins from the 1973 season through the 2002 season, that adds up to a .471 winning percentage. Only three of those five winning seasons saw 90+ wins.
There have been several multiple-winning season streaks in recent years, 2003–2004 and 2007–2009. The 2003–2004 Cubs had a combined .546 winning percentage and one division title. None of those were 90+ win seasons. The 2007–2009 Cubs combined for a .548 winning percentage, 265 wins and two division titles. 2008 was the one 90+ win season.
So to total some things up, the Chicago Cubs under Joe Maddon have had at least three 90+ win seasons (with the potential of four). That only happened five total times from 1969–2014. None of which happened back-to-back. 2007–2008 was the one time the Cubs had gone to the postseason in consecutive years since 1908 before the Maddon era. Not to mention their record postseason streak of three (1906–1908) was matched in 2015–2017 and if indeed the Cubs make the postseason this year, the record will be broken by Maddon’s Cubs.
Nobody alive has seen four-consecutive postseason seasons and few living have seen three-straight 90+ win seasons, seeing as the last time was 1928–1930. It has been over a century since they have done that at least four times in a row. Do note that the 1909 Cubs won 104 games but finished second behind the 110-win Pirates. If it were not for them, the Cubs would have had five-consecutive trips to the postseason. Regardless, this was over 100 years ago.
So this run of Cubs seasons has been incredibly special, and hopefully it stays that way for a number of years to come.