You might remember that last Monday, the Cubs were returning to Chicago after the triumphant sweep of the defending World Series champion Giants. After seven losses in eight games in seven days, we’re getting a taste of what we should probably expect for the rest of 2013. That taste is frustration. After getting 14 hits Friday and scoring two runs, the Cubs didn’t manage any runs over the weekend. Yesterday, they had seven hits to the Dodgers’ two, but still managed to lose 7-1. Carlos Villanueva had a quality start, but that’s little consolation to him.
“What’s going to make me feel good is if we win,” the right-hander said. “You can’t really take the individual [accomplishment]. The individuals [are] for the agents and fans and whoever cares about the numbers that way. For us it’s more about the wins.”
But Carlos knows one of his roles on this team is to provide veteran leadership.
‘‘I remember when I played with Trevor Hoffman a few years ago [with the Milwaukee Brewers], he had a tough year, but even though he wasn’t at the top, he never let down,’’ Villanueva said. ‘‘He worked every day. He battled and was the same guy.
‘‘I learned from that, and hopefully I can help somebody out now.’’
‘‘It’s very big,’’ he said. ‘‘I think that’s why [team president] Theo [Epstein] and company brought in the veteran guys. We have to be an example and show guys it happens. You still have to come out tomorrow and play. You have to keep your head up. I know it’s easier said than done and it’s a struggle, but nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You have to continue to improve.’’
In good news, the Cubs would now be eligible for the fifth pick in next year’s draft.
One change we may see upcoming is moving Junior Lake from the outfield to third base.
Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum didn’t dismiss the notion after his team’s 1-0 loss to theLos Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, in which current third baseman Cody Ransom went 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .199.
“We don’t have many options,” Sveum said after the Cubs were shut out for a second consecutive game. “We’ll talk about it and see what’s going on.”
When your best option is Cody Ransom, I think you need to look elsewhere.