Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs tossed his first shutout on Thursday, as the Cubs topped the Padres, 3-0, at Petco Park.
There might be a few things -- or players, specifically -- to point to as the reason why the team's offense has hit the skids of late.
The losses of Yonder Alonso and Wil Myers to the disabled list has robbed the team of, at least statistically, it's two top hitters. Alonso was hitting .333 when he bruised his right shoulder on May 8 and Myers has missed the last 10 games with left wrist tendinitis.
The Padres are 3-6 in those games without Myers, their leadoff hitter, and have averaged just 3.1 runs per game in that stretch.
"They play important roles for us," said third baseman Will Middlebrooks of Alonso and Myers. "They're good players, but the guys we're putting out there aren't bad players. It's a team effort."
Hendricks got nine ground-ball outs, coerced two double plays and didn't walk a batter in handcuffing the Padres.
After winning the first game of the series, the Cubs won the last two games. The Padres struck out 32 times in the three-game series and scored just six runs.
"The Cubs shut us down," Black said.
After averaging 4.57 runs a game in April with a .258 team batting average, the Padres are now averaging four runs a game with a .232 team average in May.
"I wouldn't say I'm concerned. We're a good baseball team. It's a tough stretch. It's part of the game. Every team goes through it," said Middlebrooks, who had two of the team's five hits on Thursday.
The Padres open a three-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Friday, followed by three games in Anaheim against the Angels.
"We can't hang our heads. We've got a big road [trip] coming up, we'll be facing good pitching. We should be used to it by now," Middlebrooks said.
Black likes his personnel, his position-player grouping. It's just a matter of getting the hitters going, which has proved very difficult of late with Alonso and Myers out now, and at the very least, for the foreseeable future.
"[There's] no quick fix," Black said. "We've got to keep at it in the cage, keep at it on video, keep at it with the coaches, with each other."