The Cubs were hoping their three-game series in Miami would yield some different results, but that wasn’t the case. Their 4-1 loss Sunday to the Marlins sent them to their second 11-game losing streak of the season.
Here are three takeaways from the series against the Marlins:
Opportunity knocks for Frank Schwindel
First baseman Frank Schwindel has been playing like a man possessed since the Cubs called him up from Triple-A Iowa. He has bounced around in his baseball career but has found himself in a nice groove with the Cubs.
Schwindel capped a great series at the plate with a tying home run in the sixth inning Sunday. The 423-foot shot was his second homer of the series. Since joining the Cubs on July 30, he’s slashing .367/.438/.708 with four homers and is hitting .382 in the last 10 games.
”I was obviously very excited to get picked up by the Cubs,” Schwindel said. ”First time in the National League, first time on this side of the country, really. But it’s just an awesome opportunity. They made a bunch of moves, which gave me the opportunity to show up and play. And I’m having a great time so far. Just want to keep it going.”
Rotation under construction
The Cubs’ rotation went through a minor overhaul in the last seven days with the addition of left-hander Justin Steele and the subtraction of right-hander Jake Arrieta, who was released Thursday. The team also will be without right-hander Adbert Alzolay for at least the next 10 days after he went on the injured list with a strained left hamstring Saturday.
The Cubs are going to need innings from their rotation after several blowout losses during their 11-game skid have taxed their bullpen. One way to do that is to get more starts such as right-hander Zach Davies’ outing Saturday. He allowed no earned runs in six innings.
”[We have] a lot of guys that are young, guys that don’t have a lot of time here,” Davies said. ”They’re seeing this version of our team where we can still battle. We can still fight and try and make it hard on teams that we do play that are in the playoff [chase] and make it a little bit more difficult to not just be another game.”
Weathering the storm
There was no doubt things were going to get more challenging for the Cubs after the trade deadline, and their 11-game losing streak has shown it.
The Cubs were in the game Sunday, trailing 2-1 in the seventh, before Jake Jewell allowed a two-run homer to Jesus Aguilar to make it 4-1.
The Cubs fell to 1-14 in August, including an 0-7 homestand last week, and pitching has played a big part in that. They have a 7.69 ERA this month.
”Obviously, losing is not fun,” said right-hander Alec Mills, who allowed two runs in 5? innings in the loss. ”Winning is a lot more fun. A bad stretch for us. I think we’re just trying to attack every day with positivity and really just trying to come together as a team.”