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‘At some point, you gotta put wins in the win column’: Cubs understand talk is cheap as losses stack up

1 month agoTony Andracki

The Cubs’ search for that elusive series win will have to wait a few more days.

The offense was once again neutralized Sunday afternoon in the rubber match against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Father’s Day. The Cubs mustered up 5 hits and 1 run en route to a 2-1 loss.

The Cubs have now lost 9 of their last 10 series dating back to mid-May. The only series they won in that time was the 2-game set against the White Sox earlier this month at Wrigley.

Since the beginning of May, the Cubs rank 30th in baseball in batting average (.220) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.176). In that same span, the Cubs are 28th in baseball averaging 3.61 runs per game.

In the 3-game series against the Cardinals, the Cubs tallied 6 runs on 17 hits and went 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position. The only 2 extra-base hits the Cubs racked up in the series were a homer by Ian Happ on Saturday and a double by Happ on Sunday.

“It was a light day offensively,” manager Craig Counsell said after Sunday’s loss. “We didn’t do enough to score runs – flat out.”

Following in their manager’s footsteps, Cubs veterans Jameson Taillon and Dansby Swanson were direct about the team’s issues right now.

“We’re just not winning games,” said Taillon, who notched a quality start but picked up the loss. “I know that’s kind of the easy way to look at it but at some point, we have to find a way to come together.

“Whether it’s winning 1-0 games or winning slugfests, we got to find a way to win games. We can talk about it all we want. We can try to assess it and figure it out. But at some point, you just gotta put wins in the win column.”

Swanson has won everywhere he’s gone throughout his career and has endured a lot of tough stretches along the way.

His .212 batting average is nearly 40 points below his career line (.251) and his OPS (.640) is roughly 100 points below his typical mark (.733).

“I mean, it’s not fun, obviously,” said Swanson, who went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. “At the end of the day, winning baseball games is the most important thing and we haven’t been able to do that recently.

“But we have so many guys in this clubhouse that believe in one another and have been through tough stretches as a group and through tough stretches individually and everyone’s always come out on the right end of it. So we’re gonna keep pushing forward. And at some point, law of averages will change and we’ll be in good shape.”

[WATCH: Dansby Swanson sums up Cubs’ recent stretch]

The Cubs didn’t notch a baserunner until the 4th inning Sunday afternoon. Happ reached on an infield single to load the bases but Nico Hoerner grounded into a forceout on a close play at second base and the Cubs’ threat was extinguished.

Michael Busch drove home Happ in the 7th with a clutch 2-out hit but that was all the Cubs could put together on the day.

They left 8 on base, including a runner in scoring position with nobody out in the 8th inning and then a pair of runners in the 9th when pinch-hitter Patrick Wisdom flew out to the warning track in left field to end the game.

Taillon worked around traffic all day, limiting the damage to just a 2-run homer to St. Louis rookie catcher Pedro Pages in the 2nd inning. That was all the offense the Cardinals needed to claim the rubber match and a series win.

The Cubs are sitting a season-low 4 games below .500 at 34-38 and begin a 3-game series against the Giants Monday night at Wrigley Field.

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