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Marlins 4, Cubs 1: Eleven

The 2021 Cubs now have a pair of matching 11-game losing streaks. (They make a lousy wedding gift.)

The look on Alec Mills’ face says it all
Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

I feel sorry for everyone associated with the Chicago Cubs who is involved in playing baseball games right now or working on showing them on television.

It’s clear that the 26 players on the Cubs active roster are trying their best and giving 100 percent effort, but they are just not talented enough.

It’s clear that David Ross is doing his best to keep a positive atmosphere around the team, but this has just got to be eating him up inside.

I felt bad for Pat Hughes and Ryan Dempster this weekend. They were doing their best to put on a good, informative broadcast along with trying to keep their audience engaged and wanting to continue to watch a game that the Cubs — at least after the middle innings — were almost certain to lose.

And I feel bad for all of us as Cubs fans. We deserve better. I’ll repeat that I understand the selloff and why it was made and as I wrote Friday, I believe Jed Hoyer & Co. not only will reload the team to contend in 2022, but they almost have to do so in order to provide fans to spend money on Ricketts family investments (real estate, Marquee in particular).

But this is really hard to take. When the selloff first happened, Mike Bojanowski said to me, “I don’t think they can win 10 games the rest of the way.” He was serious, and last night he emailed me to say, “I take it back, the Cubs may not win FIVE more games.” He might be right.

The Cubs lost their 11th in a row Sunday, 4-1 to the Marlins, and once again played a game in which they never led and were tied for just half an inning until they gave the lead back.

Alec Mills did a nice job for the first four innings and then allowed a run in the fifth. The hot-hitting Frank Schwindel (and you did not expect to read those words here) tied it up in the top of the sixth [VIDEO].

It could be a mirage, and it’s clearly a small sample size, but Schwindel over his last four games: .467/.500/1.267 (7-for-15) with three home runs. As I have said earlier, Schwindel is certainly making the most of his opportunity to play every day.

The lead lasted less than 10 minutes, as the Marlins scored a run off Mills in the bottom of the sixth. Overall Mills’ outing was pretty good, which is encouraging. He can certainly be a No. 5 starter on a contending team.

The Marlins put it away off Trevor Megill and Jake Jewell in the seventh. Megill struck out the first two batters he faced but then allowed a single. Jewell was summoned and once again, the result was utterly predictable, a two-run homer by Jesus Aguilar.

The Cubs put their first two batters on base in the ninth and thus had the tying run at the plate for three straight plate appearances. Andrew Romine and Patrick Wisdom struck out, making this the 10th time in the 11-game losing streak the Cubs had struck out in double figures, 11 today. The only exception: Saturday, only eight strikeouts. The Cubs have averaged 12.4 strikeouts per game during the streak.

Rafael Ortega, who has hit well this year, was the Cubs’ last chance. He grounded out to end it, with Schwindel on deck.

Sigh. I’m gonna have to find more unusual and creative ways to write these recaps. I’m thinking you guys have a do-it-yourself recap coming soon. Stay tuned!

The Cubs franchise record for a losing streak in a single season is 14, set in 1997. We’re on watch.

Here’s some interesting Cubs-related news:

It’s not likely going to get any better for the current Cubs in Cincinnati, where they begin a three-game set Monday evening. It will be worth watching Justin Steele start again, as he’s part of the team’s future. Wade Miley is the scheduled starter for the Reds. Game time is 6:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.