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100 losses the wrong threshold to cross

Alfonso Soriano has been on New York Yankees teams that have won 100 or more games, and now he has played on a team that has lost 100 games.

The difference was painfully etched on his face Monday night.

“I hope the young players learn it’s fun when we’re winning and you learn it’s not fun when you’re losing,” he said. “It’s more tiring when you lose. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, it’s not fun when you’re losing.”

The Cubs fell 3-0 to the Houston Astros Monday night for loss 100 of the season, something that hadn’t happened since 1966 — even for a franchise whose history has been immortalized for its century without a world championship.

But only two Cubs teams–in 1966 and 1962–have lost 100 games or more (103 to be exact) before the 2012 version.

“Nobody wants to be part of it, but the bottom line is we’re going home like a lot of teams with better records who aren’t going to the playoffs,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I’ll be here the next two days to do the best I can to win a baseball game.”

The Cubs managed only two hits off the Astros, both off starter Lucas Harrell (11-11). They were a leadoff single by David DeJesus and fourth inning leadoff double by Anthony Rizzo. Three Astros relievers shut down the Cubs, with Wesley Wright finishing and getting his first save.

“Our pitching was okay but there wasn’t a whole lot of offense,” Sveum said. “A little bit of sleep walking at the plate tonight.”

Cubs starter Jason Berken (0-3) took the loss, going 4 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on four hits, including a Fernando Martinez homer in the second.

“Nobody wants to have a 100 loss season, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Soriano said. “I hope we win the last two games and hope we have a better season next year.

“I think about how difficult it is to win 100 games, but it’s tough to lose 100,” he said. “It’s tough for the organization. I know in the second half we didn’t have a very good team to compete. But I hope we come back next year and play better.

“It’s a long season. We have two more games. We have to come back and try to finish strong. We have to learn from this and be ready for next year.

“I think our owner [Tom Ricketts] and president [Theo Epstein] did a good job putting together a good group of people. We work hard and get along. We have to try to get better for next year.”