The Chicago Cubs managed just six runs in the three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, dropping two of those contests at Wrigley Field.
After taking the fight to the rival Milwaukee Brewers early on this season, the role flipped in a hurry. Over the last two weeks, the Brew Crew took four of six from the Chicago Cubs, erasing their sizable NL Central lead in the process.
Joe Maddon‘s club now heads back to Washington, D.C. for a brutal one-game make-up from last weekend before turning right back around and welcoming the Cincinnati Reds to the Confines for a three-game weekend series.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Chicago (84-61) lucked out, at least to a degree. The Nats won’t tap Max Scherzer on Thursday afternoon – instead going with Joe Ross to counter Mike Montgomery. Furthermore, the City of Chicago allowed the Cubs to change the start time on Friday to 7:05 p.m. CT. Otherwise, the club would’ve flown back Thursday night only to play Friday afternoon.
So as the club seeks to find its rhythm in the midst of a harrowing 30 games in 30 days stretch, it’s coming down to one thing – offense.
Power outage on the North Side
As a team, the Cubs have hit a grand total of one home run in the last seven days, a Victor Caratini grand slam. Nothing from Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo or even MVP candidate Javier Baez, who, like his teammates, has gone cold as ice lately.
"“The offense has taken a hit, there’s no question — no pun intended,” Maddon said after Wednesday’s loss. “We’ve got to get better. There’s no other way to look at it. We have to find that within ourselves.”"
Since returning from the disabled list, Kris Bryant is yet to find his power, as well. He’s still getting on at a very nice clip – to the tune of a .409 OBP. But the problem isn’t necessarily guys getting on – it’s coming up with the timely hits to drive runners in.
On Wednesday, the guys hit several balls right on the screws – but Curtis Granderson and Lorenzo Cain were seemingly perfectly positioned on every single one. The Cubs’ spark plug, Daniel Murphy, who seemed like the answer when he came over from Washington, joined the ranks of his struggling teammates, as well, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
It’s as simple as this.
The Cubs, in all likelihood, will make the postseason – one way or another. But none of that will matter if the offense doesn’t get back on track. It won’t be easy. An entire month without a day off is nothing to scoff at – and it’s exactly what this team faces.
As Javier Baez said, though:
"“We’re still in first place,” he said. “We’ve just got to go out there and play. Nobody is going to beat us if we go out there and play.”"