Cubs’ downward stretch continues, Dodgers sweep doubleheader


‘Losing sucks’: Cubs lose DH, downward stretch continues, originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

After the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers, Willson Contreras shared a message he passed along to Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner.

“I told Nico earlier [Saturday]a lot of times we focus so much on results when they’re frustrating instead of enjoying the moment, enjoying playing baseball,” Contreras said.

“The results are going to happen, but that’s being human, wanting the results right away. A lot of times baseball doesn’t work that way.”

The results aren’t there for the Cubs right now. They dropped both halves of Saturday’s doubleheader, continuing a downward stretch in which the Cubs are 3-13 over their last 16 games, a stretch spanning seven series.

“Obviously we’re losing games and we’re not in a great situation right now, condition wise,” said Seiya Suzuki, who went 1-for-4 with a triple in the second game Saturday.

“But it’s a long season and it’s part of the season, so we just want to get over it.”

Los Angeles took Game 1 Saturday in commanding fashion, beating the Cubs 7-0 behind seven dominant innings from Clayton Kershaw. The nightcap was a different story.

The Cubs out-hit the Dodgers 6-to-3 and held them to one hit through eight innings. Los Angeles still won 6-2, in large part due to nine walks issued by Cubs pitchers.

“It’s just going to be tough to win those type of games,” manager David Ross said of all the free passes.

Cubs starter Daniel Norris walked the bases loaded in the second inning, and Keegan Thompson walked in a run after coming on in relief. Mookie Betts soon cleared the bases with a double.

Betts’ two-run homer in the ninth extended the lead.

“That’s baseball,” Contreras said. “Baseball, anything can happen, and with only one base hit they were ahead. Then the big hit came in the top of the ninth. It was really unfortunate that it came, but it happens, and we have to move on.”

The Cubs had chances they failed to capitalize on. Seiya Suzuki was stranded at third base after hitting a one-out triple in the third inning. The Cubs got the first two men on in the ninth inning and didn’t score.

They also had a bad break, when Yan Gomes’ drive down the right field line in the fourth inning appeared fair but was ruled foul, a call that stood (not confirmed) after replay review.

Ross said he thought it was fair and planned to reach out to MLB for more info on that play. Gomes flew out after the replay.

That’s how baseball goes sometimes, but moments like that are obviously frustrating during a stretch like the one the Cubs are on.

The Cubs scored 21 runs against the Pirates two weeks ago Saturday. They’ve only scored 21 total in 11 games since.

“Man, it’s really tough,” Contreras said. “It’s really tough to even watch, to be honest. I know we’re trying. I know we’re trying our best to win some ballgames, but things are not working our way.

“The only thing we can control is the way we come and go about our business. Come down here, day in and day out, and do our best.

“If it goes our way, that’s really good. But losing sucks, I’ll tell you that. That’s all I can say.”

Contreras had a good game individually, finishing a double shy of hitting for the cycle in a 3-for-4 night.

After rounding the bases following his no-doubt, 420-foot fifth-inning home run, he had a visibly animated celebration on his way back to the dugout.

“I’m trying to lift this team up,” he said. “I’m trying to do my best to pass my energy to everybody.

“I’m trying to support my team, to have everybody’s back, because I know that it’s been a really tough stretch.”

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