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Good morning, frents!
Hope everyone was able to get a good break from their work and responsibilities over the holiday weekend.
I'm not sure it was appropriate for both baseball teams to also take some time off with the All-Star break so close, but I guess we're used to these things happening around these parts.
Twins 8, Sox 5
Phillies 13, Cubs 3
Phillies at Cubs (7:05, Marquee)
Sox at Twins (7:10, NBCSCH)
An imperfect 10
This one might go to 11.
The Cubs spectacular freefall continued on Monday night with a 13-3 pounding by the Phillies at Wrigley Field, the first home loss in a 10-game losing streak that could end up making history.
Let's deal with the here and now first, though: Monday's loss kept them 8.5 games behind the Brewers, who lost to the Mets. The Reds, meanwhile, hold a 2.5-game lead on second place after a win in Kansas City and a weekend sweep of the visiting Cubs.
The Cubs are now 42-43. The last time they were were under .500 was May 16 when the team moved to 19-20 with a win over Detroit. That victory was the first in a stretch that saw the team win 19 of 26 games and climb past the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.
All of that is gone now, though, lost in the nightmare of Eric Sogard making three relief appearances in the last eight games and the offense scoring three or fewer runs in eight of these contests.
It's all but certain this skid will have Jed Hoyer's crew working an obscene amount of OT as they try to extract as much value from their sellable parts before the July 31 trading deadline.
It also seems sure no one's going to ever forget this swoon, which turned the Cubs from a story that we were pleasantly (but cautiously) surprised about into the mediocre team we were expecting to see all along. Throwing a combined no-hitter then refusing to win for the next week and a half is new territory, even for the Cubs.
Let's move onto the bigger picture: Can this team make history?
This slump is the 17th double-digit losing streak in franchise history and the Cubs are now within shouting distance of setting a franchise record by next week's All-Star break.
Here's the competition these Cubs are chasing:
- 1997 Cubs (14 straight losses)
Still the mother of all Cubs losing streaks, the team lost its first 14 games of the season, almost getting no-hit by Alex Fernandez on April 8 and not winning its first game until April 20 in the second game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. The Cubs lost 28 of 30 games at one point if you factor in the 2-14 finish to the 1996 season.
- 1985 Cubs (13)
There are a lot of differences between the '85 Cubs and this year's edition, but these slumps seem like spiritual sisters. The '85 Cubs were 35-19 and led the Mets by four games in NL East on June 11 before starting a 13-game slide that would eventually end with a 77-84 record and fourth-place finish, 23.5 games behind the Cardinals. A seven-game losing streak in August didn't help matters for a team that suffered so many injuries that the team's official season recap video parodied the opening of MASH.
- 1982 Cubs (13)
Lee Elia's squad was 21-26 when this one started in late May and already wasn't going anywhere. A Friday afternoon loss to the Giants during the streak attracted only 7,034 fans.
- 2012 Cubs (12)
It should be the goal of anyone whoever puts on a Cubs uniform to never be compared to the 61-win 2012 team, which also put together a separate eight-game losing streak in August.
- 1981 Cubs (12)
This team lost 12 straight in April (and 13 of its first 14) to fall 10.5 games back by April 26.
- 1970 Cubs (12)
Looking to atone for the 1969 collapse, the 1970 team led the NL East by 4.5 games on June 20 but lost 12 games in 10 days thanks to being swept in doubleheaders by the Cardinals, Mets and Pirates. The Cubs trailed the Mets by 4.5 games by the time the dust settled.
Three other Cubs teams suffered through 11-game losing streaks, a group the 2021 squad will join if Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5.57) can't put together a solid outing against Aaron Nola (5-5, 4.44).
The Cubs only need one victory to stop both the bleeding and a march toward the wrong kind of history.
But it will be awhile before anyone forgets about this losing streak, even at its current length.
Who led the 1985 Cubs with 54 stolen bases?
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News and results
Twins 8, Sox 5: Grandal goes down
The Sox have lost 9 of the last 15 but Cleveland's current seven-game losing streak has allowed them to build and maintain a six-game lead. The Cubs' struggles have also kept the criticism at bay — for now.
- Despite those benefits, there's no masking the serious impact a long-term injury to Yasmani Grandal would have on the Sox. The catcher left the game in the sixth after reaggravating a calf injury that caused him to miss the previous two games. He'll have a MRI today to look for serious damage.
- Grandal's offensive stats since the start of June: .263/.394/.575 with eight homers and 20 RBI. There's no way the Sox are coming close to replacing those. Seby Zavala will likely get the call from Triple-A to fill Grandal's roster spot, should it be necessary.
Next: Carlos Rodon (6-3, 2.37) gets his first start since being named to his first All-Star Game on Sunday. Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.52) goes for the Twins.
- Brad Biggs reported over the weekend that Eddie Goldman could be weighing retirement. Tribune
- Richard Dent is denying allegations that he acted inappropriately at business functions. Fred Mitchell
- Rick Morrissey says quiet teammates should share some of the blame in the Blackhawks scandal. Sun-Times
- Bubba Watson shot a 67 wearing a pair of Michael Jordan's hand-me-down golf shoes. Golfweek
- Why Bobby Portis has become the People's Champion in Milwaukee. Journal-Sentinel
ICYMI: Midway Minute members mailbag — Where does Jason Heyward's contract rank among the worst in Chicago sports history?
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Trivia answer: Ryne Sandberg