Maddon: Tough pitching, not carryover from Cards’ loss, behind Cubs woes

SHARE Maddon: Tough pitching, not carryover from Cards’ loss, behind Cubs woes

Until Wednesday night’s whiplash loss to the Cardinals on Jhonny Peralta’s ninth-inning homer, the Cubs were 33-0 when they took a lead into the ninth inning.

Since then, they’ve scored one run in 18 innings and lost twice at home to a last-place White Sox team. The last time they held a lead was the moment before Peralta connected.

Players in the clubhouse Wednesday called it “devastating” and “tough to swallow.” But manager Joe Maddon said despite what it might look like, he sees no carryover from what may have been the toughest loss of the season.

“I’m walking through the clubhouse and in the dugout before the game and during the game, and I don’t feel it,” said Maddon, whose club went 18 consecutive scoreless innings before a seventh-inning run during Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Sox ace Chris Sale.

“They’ve pitched well. They did it [Friday]. They did it again [Saturday]. I know our young guys are going to get better against that stuff as we continue along. Right now they got us. Give them credit.”

Veteran Jon Lester (4-8), whose loss may have been assured when he allowed two runs before the fourth batter of the game, said whether there has been carryover or not there can’t be any excuses for a youthful team.

“You’ve got to figure it out,” he said. “The grind in the minor leagues is just the same as in the big leagues. The only difference is you get to take planes to different cities as opposed to buses.”

If anything, the All-Star break “is definitely coming at an appropriate time for us,” said Maddon, whose team has scored two or fewer runs in 13 of its last 18 games.

“We have young hitters that are seeing good pitching,” he said. “We are a swing and miss team. That’s part of our DNA right now. They’ve gotten the better of us, but I am not discouraged in the least.”

Even with the three straight losses, the Cubs remain in wild-card position.

“It’s brought a nice little buzz to this city with us being above .500 and being right in the wild-card and all that,” Lester said. “But we can’t look too far ahead.”

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