MIAMI -- It’s clear that the Cubs are continuing to fight to snap their current skid, but things didn’t go their way again, as three crucial fielding errors by shortstop Sergio Alcántara led to five unearned runs in the latest setback -- a 5-4 loss on Saturday night to the Marlins at loanDepot park.
Frank Schwindel delivered a bases-clearing double in the eighth to erase a 3-1 deficit, but Alcántara’s two errors in the bottom half of the inning opened the door for the Marlins to retake the lead.
But that's the game of baseball. It’s something manager David Ross understands, having been there himself not too long ago.
“When you get to this level, you’ve played baseball long enough, you understand that you’re going to have some days that just aren’t fun or pleasant,” he said. “You’ve got to understand that those days are going to come. I think my main concern is just move on to the next pitch, don’t show frustration.”
Ross said he is hopeful that his young shortstop can shake it off.
“He had a rough night, but I think that happens to anybody that’s able to play this game long enough and have the privilege to play at this level,” he said. “You’re going to have some bad nights, so you’ve got to turn the page. The quicker you flush it, the quicker you’ll be able to contribute to us. [If] you hang onto it, it’s not going to be good.”
Zach Davies certainly deserved a better fate. The right-hander threw six solid innings and did not allow an earned run, but Miami’s Brian Anderson belted a three-run homer on his 100th pitch of the night.
He shouldn't have had to face Anderson, but a two-out fielding error extended the inning and allowed the third baseman to come to the plate with two runners on base with the Cubs hanging on to a 1-0 lead.
“I thought he was good all the way through,” Ross said. “We’ve got to make some plays behind him. He was throwing strikes, being aggressive, I thought it was a really nice performance from him tonight.”
Davies worked six innings, striking out seven while walking just one. He yielded four hits, including the homer, and all three runs allowed were unearned because of the error.
He said the game plan was a simple yet effective one -- get ahead in the count.
“The idea was to get strike one,” Davies said. “They’re going to swing; they’re going to put the ball in play. I think getting ahead early with the fastball and then being able to expand with the changeup was something that I tried to do most of the night.”
The pitching staff held the opposition to under double digits in runs for the first time in four games, but that was little consolation for the Cubs, who have lost 10 straight. They are now 2-13 since the Trade Deadline and 10-23 over their last 33 games.
The Cubs lost 11 straight earlier this season (June 25 - July 6), including three games each to the Dodgers, Brewers and Reds, and the final two to the Phillies. It’s only the second time in club history that the Cubs have had two 10-plus-games losing streaks in the same year. The only other time was back in the 1954 season.