Maddon, Bryant confident bats will get going in near future
By Owen Perkins
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- The Cubs fell to .500 following their 3-0 loss at the hands of the Rockies on Wednesday at Coors Field, and suffice it to say, their bats are not playing to expectations. Over the course of a grueling six-game stretch, the Cubs have gone 1-5 and hit .177 (41-for-232). The series finale in Colorado marked their second shutout of the season.
"Once we start hitting like we can, we will, we'll be fine," manager Joe Maddon said following the three-hit performance. "A lot of guys are missing from the lineup today that are normally out there, although I still like the lineup that we did play today. But give their pitcher credit, man, he was really good. The curveball and the command of the curveball was outstanding."
German Marquez was the third straight Rockies rookie the Cubs faced, and they scored a combined five earned runs in 20 innings against the trio of starters. Antonio Senzatela allowed two runs in six innings and Kyle Freeland allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings on both ends of Tuesday's double dip.
"It's challenging, but it's just one thing I've noticed that as you face guys over two or three times, you kind of see how they pitch," said Kris Bryant, who broke up Marquez's no-hit bid with a double to lead off the seventh. "Coming into the series you didn't know what to expect."
At the moment, the Cubs are giving off an expectation that pitchers can take advantage of their eagerness at the plate. Over the last four games, the Cubs have struck out 50 times.
"We're chasing out of the zone," Maddon said. "We're expanding our strike zone. When guys aren't hitting, you'll see them in front of a video constantly looking for mechanical flaws. It's normally a mental flaw. We're just chasing bad pitches."
The Cubs have had their challenges, but they haven't made excuses. They have a clubhouse brimming with confidence, and they believe, as their manager implies, that they will start to hit like they know they can.
"This is kind of our worst baseball," Bryant said. "I'm not hitting the panic button at all. We know the talent we have here. It's exciting. I think we've had a pretty tough schedule here, some long games and rain delays. That can affect you. I'm excited to have an off-day and get back to it."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.