Visiting fans continue to rock Wrigley, Cubs rocked again for seventh straight loss

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Keegan Thompson winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets on Thursday, July 14, 2022, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Keegan Thompson winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Mets on Thursday, July 14, 2022, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 7/14/2022 10:57 PM

The atmosphere at Wrigley Field this week has been joyous for those visiting from out of town and pretty dreary for the locals.

Fans of the visiting Mets and Orioles have filled the stadium, often drowning out the Cubs fans that seem to have become indifferent to the rebuild.

 

The Wrigleyville downturn continued Thursday as Mets hitters greeted Cubs starter Keegan Thompson with a barrage of rockets on the way to an easy 8-0 victory. This was clearly a case of the Cubs losing in all three phases -- pitching, hitting and fan support.

Statcast told the best story of this game. There were 14 balls hit with an exit velocity above 100 mph, and 12 of those were by Mets batters, including home runs by Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso. The Mets collected 17 of the 19 hardest hits on the night.

The Cubs managed 8 hits against starter Carlos Carrasco and former teammate Trevor Williams. Manager David Ross was quietly ejected from the dugout in the fourth inning by third base umpire John Tumpane.

A little over a week ago, the Cubs were encouraged by four straight series win against decent competition. Then they were swept by the Dodgers in four competitive games and have delivered three lackluster home losses to put the losing streak at seven in a row.

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Baltimore won its 10th straight game at Wrigley, after dropping 110 last season. Maybe that means there's hope for the Cubs' future. But it may also be a sign of how things could get a whole lot worse before they get any better.

Ross talked about dealing with the sharp turns in the Cubs' trajectory before the opener against the Mets.

"I just got through saying to the guys in the (players) meeting, 'We played really good baseball up until the off-day,'" he said. "I know the LA series didn't go the way we wanted, but there was a lot of good baseball in there that we continued to build upon with winning the four series against really good teams.

"The Baltimore series to me was a little flat. I thought offensively, we never got anything going. Pitched OK at times. That series for me was the first one where I was like, 'OK, that wasn't our better brand of baseball.'"

Cubs management has talked about staying competitive and utilizing monetary resources next year. But it never seemed like this was a team that could grow into a contender.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Thompson and Justin Steele are the closest the Cubs have to reliable starters and they just gave up early runs on consecutive days. The Cubs have two all-stars in Willson Contreras and Ian Happ, but both might be on the trading block as the deadline approaches.

The pieces are not in place for a contending team. If Contreras or Happ are traded, the Cubs will be even farther away.

"Right now we're going through a little bit of struggles, but I feel like there's a bright future ahead and trying to get championship banners hung back in this facility is the goal," Ross said. "We'll get there. We're working really hard daily to do that and I'm part of that and that's rewarding every single day."

The best Cubs rally on Thursday came in the bottom of the ninth. Alfonso Rivas singled to center with runners on first and second. Seiya Suzuki hit the brakes as he rounded third base and didn't attempt to score. Then with Mets fans on their feet, Yan Gomes grounded out to preserve the shutout for Carrsasco and Williams.

"There's a lot of small victories that we try to take and growth and looking towards our future," Ross said. "For me, the ultimate goal is winning and we haven't done enough of that."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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