The way manager David Ross sees it, the Cubs are kind of hanging in there.
“I don’t feel like we’re playing bad baseball,” he said. “It’s just, you know, not the best execution right at the end.”
That’s one way to characterize a nine-game losing streak. Here’s another: Where did we put that box of white flags again?
The end is near, folks. The final curtain. And even if it’s not, it sure seems like it is. The July 30 trade deadline looms extra-large. The Cubs couldn’t play any worse if their nine players on the field lined up side-by-side and spelled “S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R” with their bodies.
How many more years do we have with Kris Bryant? Javy Baez? Anthony Rizzo? And they’re not the only ones who might not be here much longer.
Wait, did we say years? We meant months. No, weeks. No, days.
The whole thing is really kind of sad.
“I think guys are giving all their effort,” Ross said. “I don’t see any lack in concentration and focus. I see a willingness to fight through it. It just seems like an inning or two doesn’t go our way. …
“We’re too talented to let this go far.”
But that’s just the problem: Their talent isn’t going far enough. Not anymore. Not even close.
Here’s what’s happening:
White Sox at Twins (6:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
The Sox are 8-1 against the Twins this season, with a through-the-roof run differential of plus-39. Who could’ve known the gap between these teams would be almost as big as Josh Donaldson’s mouth?
Lightning at Canadiens, Game 4 (7 p.m., Ch. 5, Peacock)
Les Habs are Les Miserables, one more bad night from becoming the first team in 23 years to suffer the indignity of a Stanley Cup finals sweep.
Euros: Italy vs. Spain (2 p.m., ESPN, Univision)
The Italian attack is brilliant, which we know because we read stories on the sites of a couple of British papers and both included the words “the Italian attack is brilliant.”
Phillies at Cubs (7:05 p.m., Marquee)
Aaron Nola has had some brutal outings lately, something former Phils teammate Jake Arrieta knows all about. Will either right-hander qualify for a win?
Bucks at Suns, Game 1 (8 p.m., Ch. 7)
Will Bobby Portis’ supporting cast include Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed the last two games of the East finals after hyperextending his left knee? Seriously, these playoffs have been hazardous to superstars’ health.
White Sox at Twins (12:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Lance Lynn threw 117 pitches and got the win in his last start, after which he referred to himself as a “big bastard.” We can’t be the only ones who want to see that on his MLB Players’ Weekend jersey.
Euros: England vs. Denmark (2 p.m., ESPN, Univision)
England is within sniffing distance of its first major tournament championship since the 1966 World Cup. London’s Wembley Stadium — home to both semifinal games as well as Sunday’s final — will be a glass case of emotion.
Bucks at Suns, Game 2 (8 p.m., Ch. 7)
It’s great to see 36-year-old point guard Chris Paul finally getting his due. Putting rings on Cameron Payne’s and E’twaun Moore’s fingers definitely would be his greatest feat.
Cardinals at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)
You think Cubs fans have the blues these days? Cardinals fans have been going through it for weeks longer. But, hey, maybe the weather will be nice.
White Sox at Orioles (6:05 p.m., NBCSCH)
The Sox hit the O(h No)’s with a four-game sweep on the South Side in late May. This is the first of three more shots at the American League’s worst team.
Wimbledon women’s final (8 a.m., ESPN)
An American hasn’t hoisted the strange, giant championship plate since Serena Williams in 2016. An American not named Serena Williams or Venus Williams hasn’t done it this century.
Cardinals at Cubs (6:15 p.m., Fox-32)
Did we mention the weather? Man, that trade deadline sure is coming fast.
Mystics at Sky (7 p.m., CW 26, Amazon Prime)
In the season opener, the Sky held the Mystics to a measly 56 points. That’s a tad more impressive than letting the Wings hang 100 on them as they did last time out.
UFC 264: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor (9 p.m., ESPN+)
It’s Part 3 of an epic trilogy. McGregor is the biggest draw in the sport’s history and a slight favorite, but we’re pretty sure that was Poirier who knocked him out barely half a year ago.
Wimbledon men’s final (8 a.m., ESPN)
An American hasn’t hoisted the gold goblet-looking thing since Pete Sampras in 2000. Don’t hold your breath on that one ending any time soon.
Suns at Bucks, Game 3 (7 p.m., Ch. 7)
How far are the Bulls from the NBA Finals? That’s easy: 91.7 miles.