Cubs split ‘wacky’ series against Brewers, head to New York with a lot on the line

Chicago
By Chicago 5 Min Read

MILWAUKEE — Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer admits he’s not “perfect” at staying level-headed during a roller coaster season.

“I think my wife and family would probably be OK with that,” he said.

But he says maintaining that mindset is part of his job and something he’s still trying to improve on every year, two decades into his career as a baseball player. It’s easier said than done.

“In a big year, you’ll lose 40% of your games,” he said. “And you have to try to keep a real perspective. And that means you have to keep a real perspective when you win nine out of 10. You have to keep a real perspective when you lose nine out of 10. They are exactly the same thing.

This season has provided him with extreme highs and lows to test his resolve. The Cubs’ four-game series against the Brewers this week alone was filled with dramatic swings. A six-run lead blown. An extra-inning win. Roof holder. Expulsions. A comeback in the ninth inning. A close loss.

“Just wacky,” said shortstop Dansby Swanson after the Cubs’ 6-5 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday. “Just back and forth. There was no momentum. It seemed to be everywhere.

The Cubs (40-46) split the series with the Brewers and left Milwaukee eight games behind the leading National League Central Reds. The deadline for Hoyer and his front-office team to decide on a lane for the trade deadline keeps getting closer.

Related
  • Dansby Swanson’s Availability for All-Star Game, Cubs Series Against Yankees in Question

“The series could have gone either way for all those games,” said midfielder Cody Bellinger. “And to go out and separate, it’s not great, it’s not terrible.”

Bellinger went 4 for 4 with a home run, double and two singles on Thursday, driving or scoring in four of the Cubs’ five runs. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying a career high.

If the Cubs don’t catch up before the August 1 trade deadline, he will become a prime trade candidate.

“I know what’s possible,” said Bellinger, who is heading into free agency after the season. “But I like it here. Focusing on helping this team win while I’m here. We hope we can take a little puff and be together. We have a really good group here.”

As the Cubs and Brewers beat each other up, the Reds put together a five-game hitting streak to start pulling away from the pack. But the theme of the series also said something about how the Cubs are approaching the season.

“The boys are grinding hard right now and playing with every ounce of energy they have,” said manager David Ross. “It stands out. We are never out of action.”

The Cubs rallied from one of their worst losses of the season, an 8-6 loss after an early six-run lead, to clinch a 7-6 win in the 11th inning on Tuesday.

“He was drunk there for a minute last night,” southpaw Justin Steele said the next day.

Then they got what Steele called his favorite win of the season, a 4-3 win on Wednesday, off a three-run trade in the ninth inning.

On Thursday, the Cubs fell behind as the Brewers set up a fifth-inning rally off Marcus Stroman. Yan Gomes tied the score with a two-point burst in the eighth. But former Cub Victor Caratini put the Brewers ahead with a solo pitch in the bottom half of the inning.

Only a three-game road series against the Yankees stands between the Cubs and the All-Star break.

“It’s a big thing in New York,” Bellinger said when asked how he felt about the team’s position. “But I still feel pretty good.”

Advertisements
Share This Article

It was Thursday night when we started to negotiate. Do we need to evacuate to the south or

It was Thursday night when we started to negotiate. Do we need

By Chicago

“Please go to a safer place. Your lives matter more than the news.” This is what a news a

“Please go to a safer place. Your lives matter more than the

By Chicago

“Botched” star @drdubrow took some time away from #BravoCon to fill us in on some of the h

“Botched” star @drdubrow took some time away from #BravoCon to fill us

By Chicago