Maddon not losing faith in Schwarber

Maddon not losing faith in Schwarber

SAN DIEGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has had a few conversations with Kyle Schwarber, trying to keep the young slugger's confidence up. On Tuesday night, Schwarber ended an 0-for-13 skid with a solo home run, but it wasn't enough as the Cubs lost, 6-2, to the Padres.

Maddon may need to have private sessions with some of the other Cubs players, too.

"With Kyle, it's more of a mental process," Maddon said. "His swing is really good."

But the manager hasn't lost faith in Schwarber.

"[His confidence] has been dented a little," Maddon said. "I've had good conversations, and any time I write his name out, I get excited. It's going to happen."

It did with two outs in the fifth, when Schwarber launched his eighth homer of the season -- and first since May 23 -- off an 0-2 pitch from Padres starter Dinelson Lamet.

"I just have to take it at-bat by at-bat and not worry about previous pitches, previous at-bats," Schwarber said of his approach now. "I just have to worry about what's going on in the box at that time. I can't look at the numbers. I just have to stick with what's going on in the box and stay with the process.

"There's a lot of season left to be played," Schwarber said. "It's the same thing with our team, there's a lot of season to be played. Things can turn out differently."

The Cubs' offensive struggles continued as they stranded nine and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position against the Padres. Chicago has lost five in a row, and scored eight runs during that stretch, going 2-for-31 with RISP.

"It's been a very non-productive offensive trip," Maddon said.

Schwarber is batting .174, and he's been under .200 for the entire month of May. Maddon doesn't want Schwarber looking at his stats on the scoreboard and said the swings have been good lately.

"I just want to worry about what I can control," Schwarber said. "That's me being in the box and me putting a swing on the ball. I just have to keep doing my work in the cage and let the ball do its thing."

One home run does not change everything, but it's a step.

"I still have a lot of work to do, and I took a step in the positive direction," Schwarber said. "I want to walk away with a win. It's tough. We've just got to keep grinding, keep going with it. We know what kind of team we have here. If we keep playing to our expectations, like we know that we can, it could be a different story. It is what it is, it happened, and we have to move on from it."

Schwarber is not alone.

"We're 0-for-the West Coast," Anthony Rizzo said. "You have to keep grinding. Guys are working as hard as they can. We're just not producing as we can."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.