Less than two years after the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers each appeared in the postseason, both floundering NL Central foes will be trying to snap five-game losing streaks Monday night when they open a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
In the midst of their longest skid of the season, the Cubs (46-59) may be especially frustrated following an ugly three-game sweep at Colorado.
“We’re putting it all out there. The problem is, it’s not enough,” outfielder Marlon Byrd(notes) told the Cubs’ official website. “We’re not coming away with wins. We have to figure it out, someway, somehow, because otherwise, it will be a long two months.”
DeWitt provided an immediate boost Sunday, going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
“Having a game like this right away can give me confidence,” DeWitt said. “It’s a heck of way to make a first start.”
The infielder, however, can’t solve the Cubs’ pitching woes. Opponents have scored 45 runs during Chicago’s losing streak, batting .352 and drawing 28 walks in that stretch.
“It caught a lot of us off guard,” said acting manager Alan Trammell, who filled in while manager Lou Piniella attended his uncle’s funeral.
Randy Wells(notes) (5-8, 4.10 ERA) pitched 14 shutout innings in his first two starts after the All-Star break, but he struggled with his control Wednesday at Houston, walking five and allowing three runs in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-1 loss.
The right-hander, who spent much of July recovering from an oblique strain, was ineffective Tuesday against Cincinnati, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings of a 12-4 loss.
“It was one of those days that it just felt like anything I threw up there was going to get hit,” Gallardo said.
Gallardo also has unpleasant memories at Wrigley, where he gave up seven runs in his most recent visit Sept. 15. He also tore his right ACL in Chicago on May 1, 2008.
A lack of offense was the biggest issue for the Brewers (48-58) as they were swept at Houston over the weekend, totaling two runs in the three-game series. Manager Ken Macha was not pleased when asked if his team was reeling.
“What kind of a question is that? What do you think? We’re happy we lost five in a row?” he said. “We’re not happy and we need to start getting some runs on the board. When you only score two runs here, you’re not going to win any games here.”
Milwaukee has dropped eight of 12 at Wrigley, including two of three from April 12-15.