Chicago takes break from recent struggle
Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 7:00 pm
y ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein expected some rough stretches. He just didn’t envision anything like this.
A few hours after addressing his team’s skid, the Chicago Cubs broke one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history, beating the San Diego Padres 11-7 on Monday.
That ended a 12-game slide. The work, however, is just beginning.
“I saw tough stretches, but I don’t think this is indicative of the type of team we are,” Epstein said before the game. “I think we’re clearly better than this.”
Only seven times in their cursed history had the Cubs dropped 12 or more in a row, and they entered Monday’s game on their worst losing streak since they started the 1997 season with a franchise-record 14 straight defeats. For all the optimism surrounding Epstein’s arrival as president of baseball operations in the offseason, the results are awfully familiar.
Of course, he needs time. He also realizes something needs to change.
One thing that won’t is the plan.
Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer said they will continue to build for the future, but they don’t want this season to get worse than it already is.
“On both fronts, short- and long-term, there’s work to do,” Epstein said. “In the short term, in the trenches, there’s a lot of work to do to get ourselves to a respectable level. This is a bad stretch. Just sort of appeal to the base instincts and start scrapping and keep grinding for pride. Long term, it underscores the magnitude of the job here and sort of how far we need to go to get where we want to be.”
On Monday, they let out a sigh of relief. A big one, at that.
Not since they beat St. Louis on May 14 had they won a game, and the losses certainly were wearing on them.
“We lost 10 in a row, but now that’s in the past, so now we have to try to win 10 in a row,” Alfonso Soriano said after collecting three hits with a home run. “We have to turn it around. You have to believe in this team because we’re not that bad.”
The Cubs brought in Epstein and Hoyer, hoping they would help lift that championship albatross that’s been hovering over them for more than a century.
Chicago last won it all in 1908, when the Model T was rolling off the assembly line.
With a new management team in place, there was a new sense of hope when the season began.
Published in The Messenger 5.29.12