Longest losing streaks in Chicago Cubs history
June has… well, it hasn’t been kind to the Chicago Cubs, who enter this weekend’s matchup with the scorching hot Atlanta Braves in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Atlanta has run off 14 consecutive victories, pulling to within 4 1/2 games of the Mets for top billing in the National League East.
In other words, this weekend could push the Cubs’ skid even further. Just how bad is this current cold spell? Well, let’s take a look at the longest losing streaks in Cubs history to get some context.
Looking back at the longest losing streaks in Chicago Cubs history
16 games: Sept. 28, 1996 through April 20, 1997
The longest losing streak the North Siders have ever suffered through actually spanned parts of two seasons, closing out the 1996 calendar and carrying into the start of the 1997 campaign. Just two of those losses came in 1996 – meaning the Cubs opened up the following year by dropping 14 straight games.
Of course, that 1997 team went just 68-94 and was absolutely brutal on the road, going 26-55 away from the Friendly Confines. So whether you’re talking big picture losing streak or focused on losing streaks in one season, this group takes the cake with a 16-game skid over the course of two seasons or that 14-game streak to open the 1997 season.
13 games: June 12, 1985 – June 25, 1985 and May 30, 1982 – June 13, 1982
The the 1985 Cubs posted an above-.500 mark prior to the All-Star Break despite a 13-game skid in June is pretty remarkable. The Cubs were 35-19 the day before the streak started, but by the time it mercifully ended, they sat at 36-32 and were 3 1/2 games out. From there on out, Chicago never sniffed the top spot in the division again and finished the year a whopping 23 1/2 games back.
Three years prior, it was more mediocrity from the North Siders under manager Lee Elia. The Cubs never held first place after April 9, finishing the year 73-89. A 7-14 mark in April and 8-20 mark in June torpedoed this team early on, despite playing .500 ball in the second half.
12 games: Aug. 5, 2021 – Aug. 16, 2021 / May 15, 2012 – May 27, 2012 / April 12, 1981 – April 26, 1981 / June 21, 1970 – June 30, 1970
The Cubs have dropped 12 straight (something we could very easily see again before the weekend’s up) four times in franchise history, but we’re going to focus on the most recent instance which, unfortunately, came just last August.
Following the team’s trade deadline fire sale, Chicago ran off a dozen straight losses in the month of August, giving fans a harsh dose of reality even as they still tried to wrap their minds around the likes of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo playing elsewhere. The team’s current 10-game losing streak actually marks the Cubs’ third double-digit losing streak in the last 12 months – a harrowing sign when it comes to the state of the big league club.
11 games: June 25, 2021 – July 6, 2021 / Aug. 4, 1973 – Aug. 16, 1973 / June 18, 1954 – June 29, 1954 / Sept. 3, 1943 – Sept. 18, 1943
With a loss on Friday afternoon at Wrigley, the Cubs will tie the losing streak from last summer that cemented the team’s place as a sure-fire seller at the deadline. Unfortunately, with a handful of exceptions, many of the guys who would be viewed as trade chips this time around are either injured or underperforming, meaning the influx of young talent into the system via trade will likely be significantly lighter than what we saw in 2021.
Prior to last summer, the last time the Cubs lost 11 straight games came in Aug. 1973 – a span of nearly 50 years.
10 games: June 4, 2022 – CURRENT / May 31, 1994 – June 10, 1994 / Sept. 4, 1962 – Sept. 15, 1962 / Aug. 6, 1954 – Aug. 15, 1954 / Sept. 9, 1948 – Sept. 21, 1948 / May 31, 1920 – June 11, 1920 / July 22, 1893 – Aug. 10, 1893
That brings us to the Cubs’ current 10-game losing streak – one that has led to levels of fan apathy we haven’t seen in years, questioning of the front office and manager David Ross and a free-fall down the standings.
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This skid has dropped the Cubs into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds at the bottom of the National League Central, which might not be too shocking, until you consider the Reds started the year 3-22. That’s just how bad things have gone for Chicago in 2022.