‘Things aren’t going our way’: Cubs’ skid hits 9 games
CINCINNATI — Earlier this season, the Cubs mentioned how much they liked “happy flights” and the good vibes of winning a game before departing to the next city.
Sunday afternoon will bring no such happy flight.
For the third straight game, the Cubs jumped out to a lead in Cincinnati before watching it dissipate. The end result was a 3-2 loss on the Fourth of July that extended the Cubs’ skid to 9 games.
Kyle Hendricks did everything the Cubs could ask from their ace Sunday afternoon, allowing 1 run in 6 innings and driving in a run of his own with a 2-out RBI single in the 2nd.
That was the last run of the game for the Cubs, who tallied at least 10 hits for the first time since June 11.
The Cubs began the road trip in first place and turned in a combined no-hitter in Los Angeles in the first game. But they haven’t claimed a game in the win column since and return home looking to change their fortunes.
“Very frustrating,” Kris Bryant said Saturday of the recent stretch. “But you just gotta keep your head up, keep moving forward. You can’t let this game get the best of you. It’s pretty crazy what this game will dish out in terms of wins, losses, slumps, highs, lows. You really don’t see that in any other sport.
“I think it’s important to realize, yeah, this sucks right now, but just keep our head up. As quick as it went south, it can go the other way again. Just gotta believe in that and just keep going.
“There’s gonna be a point where it’s like, ‘screw this, let’s go win some games’ and then win 5 in a row and we’ll be feeling good. Just ride the waves. This game’s crazy. I’m really getting a real sense of that this year.”
It has certainly been a tough road trip but manager David Ross still sees the desired energy from his players in the dugout and locker room.
“I’m not worried about the morale of the group,” Ross said before Sunday’s game. “They’re fine. They continue to come out and do what they need to do to try to get an edge and do the little things.
“It’s one of those moments where things aren’t going our way. We’ve gotta create and move the baseball and come up with the big hit — throw one out there, take a big walk and continue to turn to the next guy.”
The Cubs got out to a good start Sunday in that regard, notching back-to-back-to-back hits in the 1st inning off Reds starter Wade Miley. Hendricks helped his cause in the 2nd and the Cubs continued to collect baserunners in each subsequent inning but ultimately couldn’t get the big hit to add to the lead.
“For the most part, I feel like the at-bats up and down the lineup continue to get better,” Ross said.
In the 7th inning, Dan Winkler gave up a pair of hits and hit 2 batters to tie the game before the Reds took the lead with a groundout.
The loss dropped the Cubs to .500 (42-42) for the first time since May 19.