Sveum: Perform or lose your jobs
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MILWAUKEE — The error — and errors — of the Cubs' ways is starting to get to manager Dale Sveum.
"Yes," Sveum said when asked after Saturday night's 5-1 loss to the Brewers if he is losing patience. "You can probably tell it in my voice. The big leagues is about performing. We haven't performed at all now in however many games we've played. We really haven't performed (but) in a couple of them."
The Cubs have played 16 games and won five. At sold-out Miller Park Saturday, the Cubs committed 3 errors, causing 4 of the 5 runs against starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (0-3) to be unearned.
Jackson committed a throwing error on what should have been an inning-ending double play in Milwaukee's 2-run sixth inning. Both runs were unearned as were the two in the fifth, when left fielder Alfonso Soriano dropped a flyball and shortstop Starlin Castro bobbled a bouncer for his fourth error of the year.
Now is where the talk of "fundamentals" comes into play, as in, "Why don't the Cubs stress fundamentals?" They do. Just like every other team, they work on "the fundamentals" every day in spring training. But now they find themselves with 15 errors.
"That seems to be the story every night," Sveum said. "It seems to be continuing that we can't catch the ball and make a play when we have to make a play. Edwin pitched a great game. Obviously, he was a part of that, throwing the ball into center field.
"We've got to step up. Somebody's got to start making plays driving runs in because this is obviously getting old … we're making mistakes that rookie-ball people make."
So what to do?
"You're not going to work any harder than these guys have worked and do any more fundamentals and all that," Sveum said. "You get on that stage out there, in a big-league stadium, you have to perform. There are guys who play here for a long time and guys that get cups of coffee and don't have careers here."
There really don't appear to be any other options even after Sveum said: "You have to perform; it's the big leagues, otherwise you lose your jobs."
The Cubs have one backup infielder, journeyman Cody Ranson, and it's not likely they're going to sit Castro or first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who made an error Friday and fumbled a ball Saturday.
"There's always options, if you can't play," Sveum said.
A couple of Cubs players gave their takes.
"You just have to make plays," Jackson said. "You can go out and work and work and work, but when the game starts, you just have to do it."
Soriano said he felt the Cubs' defensive woes are from trying too hard.
"It's very tough," he said. "I think we're better than this. The team is not doing well right now because I think everybody just pushes too much and tries to do too much. We've got to just come back tomorrow and be relaxed and just let the talent play the game.
"Everybody in this clubhouse wants to win so bad and we want to show to the other team and to the fans that we can do it. That's our mentality here. We've got to play the game and have fun, not try to do too much. Don't worry about making mistakes and play the game."
• Follow Bruce's Cubs and baseball reports via Twitter@BruceMiles2112, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.
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