The Cubs have been coming up empty in bases loaded situations of late, but Cubs manager David Ross doesn’t seem too concerned.
“I think that's the goal,” Ross said Sunday. “The more we can load them up, the better.”
Including Sunday’s 2-1 win over the White Sox, the Cubs are hitting just .182 (6-for-33) with the bases loaded this season. They’ve struck out 14 times, most in Major League Baseball, while ranking 16th in RBIs (16).
This weekend, they loaded the bases three times (twice Friday and once Sunday). With no outs in the sixth on Friday, Nico Hoerner popped out to first base in foul territory. Javier Báez then grounded into an inning-ending 4-3 double play. In the eighth, Josh Phegley flew out to center field with two outs.
In the fifth on Sunday, Jason Kipnis struck out, which Ian Happ followed by grounding into a 6-3 twin-killing.
The Cubs can take solace in the sheer volume of bases loaded chances they’ve had — the third most ABs in MLB. Dating back to last Friday's loss to the Brewers, they've loaded the bases 14 times. And it’s not like they’re striking out each missed chance. Happ hit that double play ball on the screws, registering a 103.2 exit velocity, just right at a perfectly positioned Tim Anderson.
“I don't want the guys not to get their bases loaded," Ross said. "Happer hit that ball hard up the middle, somebody’s standing right there.”
The Cubs offense has been scuffling in the last week, magnifying the big moments they have come up empty in. But they've consistently gotten these golden chances through this rough patch, perhaps a good sign for when the offense comes around.
“We’re going through a stretch right now that just is glaring, and the guys getting the bases load it's good, that's a good thing,” Ross said. “So, I don't want to shy away from any of that.”