Cubs' offense 'continuing to fight' amid skid

Ross encouraged by bats' output over recent games despite losses

August 15th, 2021

MIAMI -- While the victories haven’t been forthcoming, Cubs manager David Ross is encouraged by the way the team has been swinging the bat, and he is hopeful it will soon result in more notches in the win column.

The Cubs banged out a season-high 18 hits in the series opener at Miami on Friday and scored 10 runs. And although it ended in a 14-10 loss to the Marlins, that same kind of production will result in wins, more often than not.

“The guys are staying ready,” Ross said. “We’re getting some contributions off the bench, pinch-hitting. Guys are ready and prepared for their at-bats.”

There is credit to be given to a team that is staying focused during this rough stretch, in which it has lost 10 games in a row. Ross is seeing a level of consistency that is paying off at the plate.

“I think guys continue to stay in their approach throughout the game,” he said. “Guys are making contact, trying not to strike out, using all the field. Guys have really stayed with their approach, up the middle, the other way, doing a nice job of just continuing to fight. I think that’s a nice characteristic that we’ve had.”

Catcher Robinson Chirinos tied a career high with four hits in Friday's 18-hit barrage and fell a triple shy of completing the cycle. He’s among those whose consistency at the plate is paying dividends.

“We’re doing everything we can to put everything together to win and pull games out,” Chirinos said. “Hopefully, we can turn things around and start winning games.”

In addition, first baseman Frank Schwindel continues to swing a hot bat in his attempt to help put an end to the slide. A simple approach, he says, is best.

“The biggest thing for me is swinging at good pitches,” Schwindel said. “So if I try to keep it as simple as that, I’m going to be able to sleep at night knowing that I stuck with my plan, swung at good pitches, and that’s all you can really do.”

He’s trying his best to not only get the Cubs back in the win column, but at the same time, ease the pain of losing the iconic first baseman Anthony Rizzo at the Trade Deadline.

“I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily replacing him by any means, but I’m here and they put me in the lineup, so I’m going to do the best I can and hopefully, the fans like me half as much as him some day.”

Schwindel credits Jason Heyward, who just came off the 10-day IL on Sunday, for keeping everything in perspective in the clubhouse through this rough patch.

“We’re very thankful to have a guy that’s been through it all,” he said. “He’s made it pretty clear that he wants to be here and hang in there with the guys. He’s keeping our spirits up.”