Cubs looking ahead after tough April

CHICAGO -- The Cubs finished the first month of play with 17 losses, the most since the 1997 team dropped 19 in April.

"Obviously, the record is disappointing," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday. "One thing we haven't done a good job of in three consecutive years is we've fallen on our face right out of the gate in April. It's really been kind of [like the movie] 'Groundhog Day' -- closer issues in April and bullpen woes.

"I think all three years, we've had a better run differential and lost one-run games early. That's been really frustrating. We should be better than our record. Ultimately, you are who you are."

Manager Rick Renteria admitted he does look at the standings, but not now.

"I really do look at the standings at the end," Renteria said. "That's when either we're going home or we're staying. Right now, I just worry about today."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.