Though the expectations surrounding the Cubs heading into 2012 were low, a 3-11 start is hardly how anybody pictured things playing out.
Dale Sveum's squad is in the midst of a six-game losing streak that came on the heels of back-to-back big wins against the Brewers and Cardinals late last week.
"We're losing ballgames, but we're not losing because of effort and we're not losing because of preparation," Sveum said. "The guys are busting their butts. As a coaching staff, the one thing that is noticed is us. If we're hanging our heads and we're losing our enthusiasm, then the whole team sees that and starts following suit sometimes. It's very important for us to be upbeat all the time and understand that these guys are busting their butts every day and we're going to get out of this.
"The guys have been very upbeat. As a clubhouse, they've been great. It's just a matter of putting some wins together."
Chris Volstad took the hill to try to stop the bleeding Friday, but his string of bad luck continued. The 6-foot-8 righty has not won a game in his last 14 starts dating back to 2011 and the Cubs have not won a game as a team since last Friday.
"It's a little frustrating, but guys aren't getting down on themselves," Volstad said. Everyone is coming in every day with a positive attitude to start the day off. We're not a team that is ever going to get down on ourselves or quit or back down from anybody. Everyone is positive. We know the kind of talent we have, we just haven't really shown it yet."
First baseman Bryan LaHair knows a thing or two about battling adversity and echoed his teammate's thoughts.
"We're the kind of team that's going to continue to play hard and fight," said LaHair, a career minor-leaguer that is getting his first shot to start in the majors this season.
LaHair was the only Cub to collect two hits Friday, but the team hit the ball hard all afternoon and just came up empty more often than not.
"I don't know if you ever get down when you're swinging the bat good and you're not getting anything for it," Sveum said. "You know you're swinging the bat good and you're having good at-bats and putting a good swing on the ball.
"I think it's more important that they understand once the weather warms up or you're hitting somewhere else -- in better hitters parks than what we've been dealing with -- a lot of those things will turn out for the better."
The Cubs send Paul Maholm to the mound Saturday in an effort to stop the losing streak.