Even a return to Wrigley Field can’t halt Cubs’ losing streak
Wrigley Field has truly been a safe haven for the Cubs this season as the team entered the week with a 26-13 record at “The Friendly Confines.”
But even that homefield advantage wasn’t enough to halt the Cubs’ skid as their losing streak hit 10 games with a 13-3 defeat to the Phillies Monday night.
For the 5th straight game, the Cubs jumped out to an early lead on their opponent but ultimately wound up on the wrong end of the score by the time the final pitch was thrown.
Monday night, it was a solo homer off the bat of Jake Marisnick in the 2nd inning and then an RBI double in the 3rd inning by Javy Báez. The double was clocked at 116.7 mph, the hardest hit ball of Báez’s career and the hardest ball hit by a Cub in two years (since June 22, 2019).
Báez later added a solo home run in the 8th inning but the game was already well in hand by then.
Zach Davies departed after 5 innings, allowing 2 solo homers. In the 6th inning, Rex Brothers walked Bryce Harper on a close call, prompting a fiery argument from Cubs manager David Ross, who was ultimately ejected.
It was Ross’ third ejection of the season and Harper came around to score the game-winning run 2 pitches later.
The Cubs have felt like a lot of borderline calls have gone against them during this tough stretch and Ross felt like it was incumbent upon him to stick up for his team.
“We gotta overcome that adversity, no doubt,” Ross said. “But from my standpoint, I need to fight and hold [the umpires] as accountable as I possibly can from my standpoint and try to help out the group as I know that [the umpires are] trying to do the best they can. It’s a fine line.”
Ross also admitted he was wrong on the specific pitch preceding his ejection, acknowledging home plate umpire Nic Lentz made the correct call.
The Phillies added another run in that 6th inning and then touched up the Cubs bullpen for 6 more tallies in the 8th. An error by Eric Sogard opened the door in that frame, leading to 2 runs before Odubel Herrera finished it off with a 3-run shot into the left field bleachers.
For the third time in the last 8 days, Sogard also notched an appearance on the mound. He gave up back-to-back homers in the 9th inning as the Phillies extended their lead.
It is the Cubs’ first 10-game losing streak since May 2012.
“It’s not fun, let me tell you that,” Báez said. “We’re trying. Everybody’s mad. I’m mad about it. But the only thing I can do is come back tomorrow and try it again.”
At 42-43, the Cubs are now under .500 for the first time since May 16. They sit 8.5 games behind the Brewers, who lost Monday night.
“We want to win,” Davies said. “We want to go out there and compete. We just haven’t gotten in the win column lately.”
Down on the farm
Cubs prospects Christopher Morel and Ryan Jensen won player of the week honors for their respective leagues.
Morel won the award for Double-A South with 4 homers, 9 RBI and a .364 batting average in 6 games. Overall this season, he is hitting .218 with a .760 OPS with the Tennessee Smokies.
Jensen took home the High-A Central accolade after throwing 6 perfect innings in his July 3 start for the South Bend Cubs. He struck out 3 batters and threw 54 of his 77 pitches for strikes.
The 23-year-old right-hander was the Cubs’ 1st round pick in 2019 (27th overall) and is 2-4 with a 5.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 10 starts with South Bend this season.
Morel was ranked 8th and Jensen came in at 11th on the Marquee Sports Network preseason Top 20 Cubs prospects list.