The Chicago Cubs’ losing streak reached 10 games Thursday with a 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres before 30,096 on a sweltering afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs (23-40) fell into a last-place tie with the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central. And it doesn’t get any easier this weekend as the defending champion Atlanta Braves come to town riding a 14-game winning streak.
Keegan Thompson faces the Braves’ Charlie Morton on Friday in the series opener.
The stumbling Cubs were outscored by a combined 49 runs in back-to-back series by the New York Yankees (28-5) and Padres (41-15). According to Cubs historian Ed Hartig, it’s the team’s worst run differential in back-to-back series in franchise history, breaking a record set in 1999.
The 1999 Cubs were outscored by a combined 47 runs by the Milwaukee Brewers (17 runs) and Philadelphia Phillies (30) in back-to-back series in late June and early July. The Phillies scored 41 runs in the three games, the most since the franchise came into existence in 1911.
When the Cubs lost 6-2 in the finale in Philadelphia, keeping the Phillies under double digits was treated as a moral victory.
“It feels like we won,” general manager Ed Lynch said in the postgame clubhouse.
The Cubs’ loss to the Padres on Thursday — completing a four-game sweep — also meant they were outscored by at least 20 runs in back-to-back series for the first time in 143 years, according to Hartig. The last time that happened was in September 1879, when the Providence Grays outscored the Cubs by 20 runs (29-9) and the Boston Braves by 23 (31-8).