Sports

For Cubs, April showers still falling in May as slide continues


Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks dubbed the 4-3 loss Wednesday “a baseball day” after White Sox middle fielder Luis Robert robbed catcher Willson Contreras of a game-tying double.

“I assumed we performed fairly properly,” he stated. “We made some fairly good performs on the market, put collectively nice at-bats, had some probabilities there late and simply hit balls proper at guys. Simply a kind of issues.”

This weekend is the one-month mark of the season, and the Cubs enter their three-game collection in opposition to the Dodgers with a 9-15 file, in fourth place within the Nationwide League Central behind the rebuilding Pirates.

The Cubs have simply three wins of their final 14 video games. So how a lot of that rut is baseball’s fickle nature, and the way a lot requires an adjustment?

For the beginning pitchers, the reply is fairly plain. The primary time by way of the rotation, every starter threw a minimum of 5 innings and allowed one run or fewer. However then Hendricks, Justin Steele and Marcus Stroman began battling rhythm points.

Steele, discovering himself speeding after a pair of robust begins to start the season, hasn’t pitched greater than three innings in every of his final three outings. However sloppy play behind him was an element within the Cubs’ 9-1 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday, and he noticed enchancment in his personal kind.

Stroman, feeling out of sync early on, has made regular progress. That culminated in seven scoreless innings Sunday in a 2-0 win and the Cubs’ solely victory within the three-game collection in opposition to the division leaders.

Hendricks remains to be trying to find consistency. He seems to be like classic Hendricks someday however struggles with the identical points that plagued him in 2021 the subsequent.

“That was undoubtedly extra on observe,” Hendricks stated of his final begin, regardless of permitting 4 runs in 5⅔ innings Wednesday in opposition to the Sox. “It wasn’t like these two unhealthy video games I had in April. It was extra alongside the strains of the goodones I had, establishing my fastball down and away, had good angle, getting balls on the bottom, unhealthy contact. So I would like to simply hold focussing on these good issues and transfer with that.”

So three of the Cubs’ starters are making, or have made, changes. And assistance is on the best way. Left-hander Wade Miley (left elbow irritation) will make a rehab look with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday.

So what in regards to the offense?

By the primary three collection of the season, the Cubs have been averaging 9.44 hits per sport. And who may overlook their 21-0 victory in opposition to the Pirates a few weeks in the past. However the Cubs have scored a number of runs in simply three of their final eight video games.

A few of that has to do with the standard of pitching they’ve confronted in current weeks, together with the No. 2 rotation within the main leagues (Brewers, 3.13 ERA), and the Braves’ one-two punch of Max Fried and Charlie Morton. However the Cubs’ robust begin included some robust matchups, too, together with the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.

The Cubs even have been putting out extra not too long ago, reaching double digits in six of their final seven video games. And for a crew with a contact-oriented profile, particularly in comparison with years previous, strikeouts have a better impression.

A couple of key Cubs hitters are going by way of lulls, together with Frank Schwindel (.205 batting common) and Seiya Suzuki (3-for-32 in his final eight video games). That can occur all through the season as totally different hitters cycle by way of the common ups and downs.

“These guys are working arduous. I don’t suppose anyone must get again to something. I feel we simply want some outcomes,” supervisor David Ross stated after the loss Wednesday. “The highest [of the batting order] wasn’t our robust swimsuit tonight. The fellows on the backside form of carried us.”

Nico Hoerner, batting sixth, and Patrick Knowledge, batting eighth, each homered to drive in all three of the Cubs’ runs. 9-hole hitter Nick Madrigal went 2-for-3. His analysis may sound acquainted.

“I actually don’t suppose we’re far off or want to alter sport plans or something,” Madrigal stated of the offense. “I simply suppose it’s a part of baseball.”

On Deck

Dodgers at Cubs

Friday: Tyler Anderson (2-0, 2.55 ERA) vs. TBD, 1:20 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

Saturday: Clayton Kershaw (3-0, 2.35) vs. Justin Steele (1-3, 5.50), 1:20 p.m., Marquee, 670-AM.

Sunday: Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.12) vs. Marcus Stroman (1-3, 5.13), 6:08 p.m., ESPN, 670-AM, 1000-AM.





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