How David Ross digests tough Cubs losses
No manager is going to be happy after his team drops a pair of blowout games on back-to-back days.
But even on a day like Saturday’s 11-1 Cubs loss, the ultra-competitive David Ross can recognize the silver linings from his team’s performance on the field.
With the game well in hand in the 7th and 8th innings, Jason Heyward and Ian Happ each made a diving/sliding catch in the outfield. That level of effort stood out to Ross, especially from two guys have been working hard lately to get into a rhythm offensively.
“To be that locked in, to come in, how they’re grinding in the cage and working on their swings and at the plate and then to still be giving that effort on defense — that was one of those ‘wow’ [moments],” Ross said. “I was shocked, to be honest, with that effort. Really thankful for how they’re staying locked in and the effort they gave, for sure.”
Over a 162-game season, every team — even the best squads in the league — will have days where seemingly nothing goes right.
Ross understands that as well as anybody, constantly talking about the “ebbs and flows” of a marathon season. When it was clear the Cubs would not come back in Saturday’s game against the Marlins, Ross got Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant out of the game to give them at least a few innings off.
It’s just another instance of how the Cubs manager puts a day like Saturday into perspective.
“I think you realize really fast when you’re out of the game and you kinda start trying to protect your guys that are gonna play 150-something and try and get them off their feet as much as you can,” Ross said. “From a manager’s standpoint, you want your team to represent you and the things you value and good fundamental baseball and good execution and good baserunning, good defense and all those things.
“I don’t know that we did that [Saturday]. I take that personally. That’s a reflection of me. But I know that that’s not from lack of work, from lack of concentration and what these guys give me on a daily basis. Do I take it personally? Sure. I feel like it’s my team and it’s representative of me.
“I want them to play hard. You can’t control results but effort’s important to me. So if I ever get upset, it’s on the little things. Yesterday bothered me but am I mad? No.”
Ross pointed out that the team is still in 1st place, even after the tough losses Friday and Saturday. He also reiterated the impact of the Cubs’ difficult stretch of injuries they’ve endured, missing key players like Adbert Alzolay, Nico Hoerner and Matt Duffy.
Ross takes all that into the equation and didn’t question his team’s character after the performances against the Marlins.
“These guys play hard on a nightly basis for me,” he said, “and I have a ton of respect for the effort they give and the work they put in.”