The Chicago Cubs are the only team in baseball that's failed to win a series this season, but their next opponent could provide a prime opportunity.
The Arizona Diamondbacks visit Wrigley Field on Monday night to begin a four-game set between the two worst teams in the NL.
Chicago (5-12) hasn't won a series since taking two of three from Cincinnati from Sept. 9-11. The Cubs missed out on a chance to match that over the weekend after falling 8-2 to the Reds on Sunday to drop two of three.
"Today's April 20, so it does us no good hanging our heads or being negative," starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva told the team's official website.
They've now lost six of seven, though they've seen a bit more offensive promise with 22 hits in the last two games after batting .184 in five straight losses.
On Sunday, Chicago's top four hitters went 8 for 16 but the team went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
"There are going to be times when teams go through certain stints like this," third baseman Mike Olt said. "I think we're capable of coming through in spots."
Leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio went 6 for 12 in the series and is hitting .366 while Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 3 in the finale and is batting .435 in his last 13 games.
The Diamondbacks (5-16) can relate to the Cubs' recent struggles, having dropped eight of nine after Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arizona's problems have come largely from its rotation, which has an MLB-worst 7.42 ERA after allowing 10 earned runs in 10 innings of the last two games against the Dodgers.
"You can get as frustrated as you want to get," left fielder Mark Trumbo told the team's official website. "You can also control it and keep moving forward. It's just a point in time where it's not going our way. That's just all there is to it."
Trumbo went 0 for 2 and is 2 for his last 17.
Bronson Arroyo is next in line to try to correct the pitching woes. Arroyo (1-1, 9.95 ERA) has only made it though 12 2-3 innings in his three starts, and the latest was his worst as the right-hander allowed nine runs in 3 1-3 innings of Tuesday's 9-0 loss to the New York Mets.
"Four hits in the first inning and quickly it was 3-0, which was exactly what we couldn't have on this ballclub right now," Arroyo said. "It just kills the morale of a team when you're losing constantly, and especially when you're giving up runs a lot and then you just go down a three-spot early on."
He's been considerably more effective against the Cubs with a 4-1 record and 2.62 ERA in five starts since Aug. 11, 2012. Arroyo hasn't lost at Wrigley in over seven years, winning six of nine starts since Sept. 17, 2007, while going 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA and .174 opponents' batting average in the last seven.
Arroyo has held Rizzo to 3 for 17 and Darwin Barney to 3 for 20. Luis Valbuena is 6 for 13 with two home runs off Arroyo.
The Cubs begin the series with Travis Wood on the mound. Wood (0-2, 3.00 ERA) was hit hard his last time out but limited the damage to two runs on 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 2-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.
Wood has lost his last four starts against the Diamondbacks with a 7.84 ERA.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Bronson Arroyo