The calendar is working in opposition to the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs’ postseason hopes couldn’t afford a sequence loss to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, but their spiral continued Thursday with an 8-6 defeat at Wrigley Field. They have dropped 10 of their final 13 video games and misplaced 4 consecutive sequence for first time since May.
The Cubs enter Friday tied with the Miami Marlins for the No. 3 National League wild-card spot, however the Marlins personal the tiebreaker.
The Cubs (79-74) went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring place and left 11 on base.
“That’s not a good team that just took two of three from us — or not our caliber team, I believe — and we’ve got to turn it around,” supervisor David Ross stated. “It’s on me. It’s on the guys in that room.”
“When things aren’t going your way, you’ve got to turn it, you’ve got to make things happen. You’ve got to pay attention to details. We’ve got to focus every at-bat, left a lot of guys on base early on in that game, couldn’t come up with a big hit. The guys kept fighting.”
All areas are of out of sync. When the offense has proven life, the pitching employees and protection can’t put up zeros, and when the Cubs’ arms hold them in video games, the lineup struggles to ship well timed hits. The totality of the deficiencies during the last two weeks is probably the most regarding half and creates skepticism the Cubs out of the blue can flip on a change and get rolling once more with 9 video games remaining.
“I don’t think you make excuses, right? You make mistakes, you’ve got to move on,” Ross stated. “You don’t come via within the moments. You’ve obtained to attempt to do it with the subsequent one. Guys did that tonight. The bullpen, typically issues occur and also you’ve obtained to proceed to assault. If issues don’t go your approach you’ve obtained to be just a little bit resilient and attempt to make the subsequent pitch.
“It’s easy to blame, but I don’t think it’s a group that points fingers. I don’t do that. Like I said, it’s on us.”
Julian Merryweather’s presence as a stabilizing pressure within the bullpen earned him the “unsung MVP of our team” moniker from Ross over the weekend. Through all of the accidents the pen has endured, significantly the lack of veteran Michael Fulmer and nearer Adbert Alzolay to the injured record, Merryweather earned belief to obtain the sport’s highest-leverage moments over the previous couple of weeks.
So when Merryweather skilled his worst outing in two months in the course of the ninth inning Thursday evening, minutes after the Cubs pulled inside a run after a three-run eighth, it represented a dying knell. He surrendered a number of runs in an outing for the primary time since July 19 on prime of a two-walk sport, which final occurred earlier than the All-Star break.
The three runs the Pirates scored off Merryweather served as a double-whammy when Dansby Swanson’s two-run homer within the backside of the ninth merely lower the Pirates’ result in 8-6.
Swanson’s house run and RBI single within the seventh to get the Cubs on the board helped him bounce again from an terrible begin to Thursday’s sport. He left seven runners on base via his first three at-bats, grounding out with runners on the corners within the first, hanging out with the bases loaded to finish the fifth and hitting a one-out flyout within the fifth with out advancing the runners on first and second.
Adding to Swanson’s early woes: a fielding error within the third that led to 2 unearned runs off right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
“At some point for myself personally, I just get so pissed off that it kind of helps me in a way, and that definitely happened tonight,” Swanson stated. “The first five or six innings just weren’t very acceptable, and it’s something I take accountability for. But there’s obviously a reason you play nine innings and there’s a chance to make an impact at any point in time and unfortunately we fell short tonight.”
The Cubs get one other crack at a shedding crew this weekend when the Colorado Rockies arrive for the ultimate Wrigley sequence earlier than closing the season on the street subsequent week in opposition to the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers..
Tensions will solely enhance. The vibes have been understandably not good Thursday as followers watched the Cubs offense attempt to rally from an early 3-0 deficit and get derailed by dangerous pitches, missed strike calls and the elusive clutch swings.
“Sometimes trying harder and trying to do more actually works against you and being able to soak in moments and be grateful for the opportunity, that can take a little bit of pressure off,” Swanson stated. “Like, doing the factor of ‘I’ve obtained to get this accomplished’ to ‘I’m going to’ and simply having just a little little bit of a change in mentality.
“But there’s so many guys in here that care and that obviously want what’s best for this group and want to win and they’re doing everything in their power even at this stage of the year working really hard to make things happen. And we believe it’ll start to flip in our favor.”
The Cubs have been answerable for their playoff future two weeks in the past when the Arizona Diamondbacks got here to city. They will solely have themselves responsible in the event that they fail to benefit from the chance.
“It is a sense of urgency, we do have to play good, we’ve got to throw up wins that’s how we’re going to get the postseason,” Ross stated. “We’ve obtained to win baseball video games. This is a big-boy league. There’s large boys in there. They’ve been up in opposition to adversity all season lengthy and answered the bell. That group’s not going to shrink back from a problem, like, I don’t fear about that.
“They’re going to bring it every single game. Sometimes it’s going to work out, it hasn’t lately. I’m not worried about the mentality of that group ever.”