Clement has lost five straight since June 8 to match his career-worst losing streak, set on April 24-May 27, 2003. The right-hander did not get a decision in his last start, as he allowed four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings of the Cubs’ 5-4 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday.
”(The outing) was almost a win with a no decision, rather than a loss,” Clement said.
Clement’s skid isn’t a result of bad pitching. He has a 2.88 ERA during the stretch, but the Cubs have averaged 2.3 runs in those games.
Clement has lost twice to the Brewers in that span despite allowing just four runs and 11 hits with 15 strikeouts in 13 1-3 innings.
Chicago’s hitting woes continued in a 3-2 defeat to Philadelphia on Sunday— its fifth in eight games. The Cubs trail NL Central-leading St. Louis by 10 games, and San Diego and San Francisco by two in the wild-card race.
“Right now, we really have to start buckling down and start playing some good baseball,” said Cubs starter Mark Prior, who did not get a decision Sunday in his first outing since leaving a game July 15 due to a tender elbow. “But that’s easier said than done.”
The Cubs, who play 10 of their next 13 on the road, were swept by the Brewers on July 5-7 at Miller Park by scores of 1-0, 4-2, and 2-1.
“Our key to Milwaukee is that we’re more familiar with them now and their pitching,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
Right-hander Victor Santos starts for Milwaukee and has won both his career starts against the Cubs, both this season, to lift his record to 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six games against Chicago.
After an encouraging first half of the season, the Brewers went 3-8 on an 11-game road trip to open the second, scoring just 25 runs in that span. Milwaukee fell 9-1 to the Houston Astros on Sunday to drop one game under .500 for the first time since May 9.
“I’m not going to worry about everything we’ve worked for slipping away,” said Brewers manager Ned Yost. “That’s a waste of my time. You just have to regroup and go after the Cubs tomorrow. We have the same team we had in the first half. They’ll regroup and get it together.”