Just 12 days ago the Chicago Cubs were tied atop the NL Central. Following Tuesday night's blowout loss to the Phillies (PHI 15, CHC 10), the Cubs are now nine games behind the Brewers in the division race, and the focus has shifted to the Craig Kimbrel and Kris Bryant trade markets.
The Cubs dropped their 11th straight game Tuesday night and Jake Arrieta, once a Cy Young winner and World Series hero for the franchise, was hit hard once again. He allowed a grand slam 10 pitches into the game and was knocked out after allowing seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. Arrieta faced 14 batters and retired only five.
Tuesday's disaster gives Arrieta a 6.30 ERA on the season. He posted a 2.57 ERA in his first five starts this season and it looked like he could be heading for a nice little bounce-back season. Instead, Arrieta has allowed 53 runs in 46 1/3 innings in his last 12 starts. Opponents hit .320/.400/.605 against him in those 12 starts. Ouch.
There's a chance Tuesday was Arrieta's final start as a Cub, if not his final game as a Cub. Manager David Ross was noncommittal about Arrieta keeping his rotation spot last week, Trevor Williams came off the injured list Tuesday and could step into Arrieta's rotation spot, in theory.. Righty
"I gotta look at that. We got a lot going on. 11 losses in a row, I think there's a lot to look at," Ross told reporters, including The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma, about Ross' rotation spot following Tuesday's game. "I'll wrap my brain around this one tonight and attack the problems in the morning."
No matter what happens with Arrieta, the Cubs have lost 11 straight games, and it is their longest losing streak since a 12-gamer in 2012, when the club was early in the rebuild that led to the 2016 World Series championship., and they've been outscored 83-35 during the 11-game losing streak.
Here are the 11 longest losing streaks in Cubs franchise history:
- 14 games (one time: April 1-20, 1997)
- 13 games (three times: April 19 to May 10, 1944; May 30 to June 13, 1982; June 12-25, 1985)
- 12 games (three times: June 21-30, 1970; April 12-26, 1981; May 15-27, 2012)
- 11 games (four times: Sept. 3-18, 1943; June 18-29, 1954; Aug. 4-16, 1973; June 25, 2021 to present)
That 14-game losing streak is really a 16-game losing streak when you include the final two games in 1996. We'll stick with single-season losing streaks, however, so 14 games is the longest losing streak in franchise history. Either way, the current 11-game losing streak is one of the longest ever in the history of one of baseball's oldest franchises.
Even before Tuesday's loss, Chicago's postseason odds had dipped to 7.8 percent, according to SportsLine. With the NL West so stacked, it's division title or go home for the Cubs, and the 11-game losing streak pretty much takes them out of the race. Bryant, Kimbrel, and other impending free agents like Andrew Chafin and Joc Pederson will hit the trade block soon.