The Chicago Cubs will try to snap a franchise-record losing streak when they host the Colorado Rockies on Monday night to open a three-game series.
The Cubs have lost 13 home games in a row, including a 9-1 defeat against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon. That surpassed the previous franchise record of 12 straight home losses set in 1994.
The last time the Cubs won at Wrigley Field was on July 26, when Javier Baez delivered a walk-off hit and Craig Kimbrel notched the victory. Since then, Baez has been traded to the New York Mets, Kimbrel has been dealt to the Chicago White Sox, and cornerstone players Anthony Rizzo (New York Yankees) and Kris Bryant (San Francisco Giants) also have been shipped out of town.
The loss of key players — and the loss of so many games — has dampened the mood on the North Side.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve had too many conversations (between the players) as far as what’s going on,” pitcher Alec Mills said. “We just want to win. It’s obviously not a fun clubhouse after games right now, but we’re doing everything we can, and we plan on really doing some things to help us out in the future.”
The Cubs now will turn their attention to the Rockies, who are coming off a successful 5-1 homestand as they embark upon a nine-game road trip against the Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers. Colorado won five straight games before losing 8-4 on Sunday to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“(The loss) was about them nicking our bullpen and us not scoring off of their pitching,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We didn’t swing the bats great today. It was a little bit of a mystery because their guy was a little bit wild, walking five and hitting a batter. He changed speeds and was around the zone, but we just couldn’t solve him.”
The Rockies are 43-22 at home this season but only 14-45 on the road.
Colorado will turn to right-hander Antonio Senzatela (2-9, 4.58 ERA) in the series opener. He has gone nine starts since his last victory June 2 against Texas. However, he is coming off back-to-back quality starts against the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres.
In five career games (four starts) against the Cubs, Senzatela is 1-1 with an 8.71 ERA.
Chicago will counter with its best starter, right-hander Kyle Hendricks (14-5, 4.04 ERA). This will be his 200th career start, and he enters the outing with an 83-53 record and 3.23 ERA since his 2014 debut.
Hendricks, 31, is coming off a victory on the road Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds. He allowed one run on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out three.
In nine career starts against Colorado, Hendricks is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA.
Cubs manager David Ross said his team needed to stay focused amid a long winless drought at home.
“What I do know is we all should be really thankful that we’re in the major leagues and get a chance to put on this uniform and play baseball for the Chicago Cubs,” Ross said. “These guys work their tail off and they go out there and compete as best they can.”
–Field Level Media