Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Another shutout brings 101st loss for Cubs

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The Cubs only had two seasons of more than 100 losses before this year.
But after a second straight shutout defeat Tuesday at the hands of the Houston Astros, the Cubs losses reached 101, two short of the 103 losses they had in 1962 and 1966.
The 3-0 score was identical to Monday's defeat and the 16th shutout loss of the season.
``It looked like deja vu from last night,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``It kind of typified the whole season.''
No one among the Cubs hierarchy of Sveum, team president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer or scouting chief Jason McLeod has gone through a season like this one.
``Not many people around here have been through this mny losses in a season,'' team president Theo Epstein said Tuesday. ``It's a very stark baseline of where we are and how much improvement we have to make.
``I think we'll have to wait until we're done playing [after Wednesday] before we really look back and reflect,'' he added. ``But no, we'd prefer about 65 losses. No one wants to have this type of season.''
Jeff Samardzija, who will be a key rotation piece next season, doesn't judge the 2012 season by the triple digit losses.
``For me, it's not about the numbers. It's if you were in the pennant race,'' he said. ``If you weren't, you have to go back to the drawing board.
``We had a new team the last few months. There are things you're dealing with and then there were the roster moves [at the trade deadline.] We weren't the same team the last few months, and the fact is the truth is the truth.''
The 100-loss pace of May and June dissipated in July when the Cubs went 15-10. But since the July 31 trade deadline when they dealt away half the rotation, the Cubs have lost 42 of their last 58 games.
``July was our best stretch,'' Sveum said. ``We had a whole pitching staff and had called up Anthony Rizzo [June 26] and we started scoring more runs.''
Epstein said the season isn't a reflection on his first-year manager.
``One hundred losses aren't his fault in the least,'' Epstein said. ``Dale's done a fantastic job of maintaining as much of a winning culture as possible during a season like this.''
Veteran Alfonso Soriano has been on New York Yankees teams that won more than 100 games--but never on a 100-loss team.
``I hope the young players learn it's fun when we're winning and you learn it's not fun when you're losing,'' Soriano 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.
``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. 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.''

NOTES: Rookie Brett Jackson is in need of a major makeover this winter in his hitting approach, Sveum said. ``There's quite a bit I'd like to see him [change]. I'd like to see him completely revamp his swing,'' adding it is something even the best of players have had to face to enhance their careers. ``Players in this game have made drastic adjustments in their game and it's propelled some of them to Hall of Fame status. I'll go to my grave saying this: if you don't make adjustments in this game, you won't stay here very long.''
Jackson has struck out 56 times in 115 at bats.

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on October 2, 2012 10:10 PM.

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