Cubs slump reaches new low after being swept by the Padres in San Diego

How's this for unexpected statements: The Chicago Cubs were swept by the San Diego Padres.

It's true. The Cubs dropped Wednesday's game by a 2-1 score, giving them six consecutive losses -- their longest losing streak since they dropped seven in a row back in September 2014. The Cubs' recent slump puts them at 25-27, which prompts the question: what's going on?

When it comes to the Cubs' offense, the answer lately has been "not much." The Cubs have scored two runs or fewer in five of their losses, and were shut out in two of the three games they played against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, the Cubs have scored more than two runs in a game just once during their losing streak -- a four-run "outburst" that amusingly came against Clayton Kershaw.

That kind of underperformance has been a theme of Chicago's season. Consider, for instance, how Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber both have OPS+ figures in the 70s; or how John Lackey and Jake Arrieta both possess ERA+ figures in the 80s; or how even Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester are playing below their norms. Whatever's to blame -- small-sample size, World Series hangover, or some combination thereof -- the Cubs have it bad.

Yet even so, Theo Epstein didn't seem too concerned when asked about whether the team is planning any dramatic personnel moves in the near future, per CSN Chicago:

"Not right now," said Epstein, who's on a West Coast scouting trip for the amateur draft. "Keep an open mind to everything. But when you have belief in certain guys' talent – not just potential but talent – then you want to find a way for it to manifest, because it's really valuable for guys to work through things up here.

One of the benefits of winning a World Series after a century-long drought? You can exhibit monk-like patience the following season. We'll see if the Cubs can climb out of their hole -- if so, we'll look back on this Padres sweep with humor rather than concern. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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