All good things come to an end.
It's not like the Cubs were going to keep winning for the rest of the season, and there are worse ways to lose a winning streak than being dominated by one of the game's top pitchers.
The Cubs (67-49) struck out 18 times against Chris Sale and two White Sox relievers as they lost for the first time in 10 games, 3-1, in front of 39,475 in the season's Crosstown Cup finale.
Sale struck out 15 in seven innings, but Cubs hitters forced him to throw 116 pitches, knocking him out of the game after the seventh inning.
"He was outstanding," Maddon said. "The best thing we did was we got his pitch count up enough to get him out of there before the ninth inning. His changeup was spectacular, his fastball was good. He had command of all of his pitches. He's a tough guy for us right now. He's a tough guy for a lot of teams, but he's really tough for us."
The Cubs had just five baserunners and one hit (a Dexter Fowler single in the sixth inning) before Jorge Soler took Sox closer David Robertson into the right-field bleachers with two outs in the ninth and then Addison Russell followed with an infield single.
The young Cubs admitted it was actually kind of fun to face Sale today, despite the result. Both Russell and Anthony Rizzo made it a point to say how much they enjoy the challenge of facing one of the best pitchers on the planet.
"He just kept batters off balance with such a fast pace," Russell said. "It's good to face him. It's good to see what it's like to see that A+ pitching."
Dan Haren gave up solo homers in three straight innings — to Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Melky Cabrera — to account for the White Sox offense on the afternoon. Haren now leads the National League with 27 homers allowed.
"I knew coming into it I'd have to be close to perfect, but obviously I wasn't," Haren said. "I made a few mistakes."
This is only the Cubs' second loss since July 28. The offense averaged 5.13 runs per game during that 16-game span.
Maddon and the Cubs said they aren't worried about losing the streak right before an off-day and instead are just looking forward to recharging the batteries before playing 16 straight days starting Tuesday.
"Oh yeah. Listen, you're not gonna win them all, man," Maddon said. "That doesn't happen. We've been playing really well. We'll continue to play really well. Today we just ran into a good pitcher, and that was the difference in today's game. I could not be happier with our guys."