You think the Cubs are out of the long-losing-streak mire just because they won a couple of games in a row in Cincinnati?
After falling 6-2 on Friday in the opener of a six-game homestand against the seemingly beatable Royals and Rockies, the Cubs have now dropped 11 consecutive games at Wrigley Field. That isn’t as awful as the 11- and 12-game outright losing streaks that sunk and destroyed the season, but it’s plenty bad.
The Cubs’ record for consecutive home losses is 12, set out of the gate in 1994.
The last home win? That was July 26 in the opener of a four-game set against the Reds. Since then, the Reds, White Sox, Brewers and Royals have outscored the Cubs by an obscene total of 56 runs.
The Cubs (54-70) and Royals (53-68) have similar records, but they’re heading in opposite directions. The Cubs are in an all-out free fall. The Royals are in a 16-13 semi-surge during which they’ve won series against the Brewers and — twice — the White Sox.
The opener was going the Cubs’ way until a mishap on the bases in the third inning. Already staked to a 1-0 lead on Patrick Wisdom’s home run, the Cubs appeared to score two more on a two-out single by Ian Happ, even though Happ slipped rounding first and was tagged out. After a replay review, it was ruled that first baseman Carlos Santana had tagged Happ before Rafael Ortega crossed the plate with the second run.
Just like that, a 3-0 lead became a 2-0 lead. Five Royals homers — four of them solo shots off Cubs starter Zach Davies — flipped the early script.
“Obviously, we’re trying to win games,” Davies said. “That’s no different than early in the year.”
Wisdom’s homer in the second inning off Royals starter and winner Brad Keller -(8-12) landed on Waveland Avenue. It was No. 19 for the National League’s rookie home-run leader. His next one will tie him with Orestes Destrade for the NL record for homers in a season by a rookie 29 or older. Estrada did it in 1993 with the Marlins.
Infielder Nico Hoerner, on the injured list since July 29 with a strained right oblique, took batting practice and fielded grounders alongside teammates before the game. The Cubs are hoping he’ll be good to go for a rehab assignment by early next week.
On the 50th anniversary of Fergie Jenkins’ 20th win in his Cy Young season, we are excited to share a rendering of his statue that will be installed during the 2022 season at Wrigley Field. pic.twitter.com/CKS77EzGyn— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 20, 2021
A first look
On Aug. 20, 1971, Fergie Jenkins went the distance against the Astros to earn victory No. 20 in his Cy Young season. Fifty years later to the day, the Cubs unveiled a rendering of the statue of the Hall of Famer that will be installed outside Wrigley Field in 2022.
Joining statues of Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Harry Caray on the exterior grounds of the park will be one of Jenkins in his windup, the ball up high as he completes his long-legged step toward home plate.