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updated: 5/8/2014 9:01 AM

Cubs not getting much to go their way

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  • Cubs manager Rick Renteria is tossed from the game Wednesday by home plate umpire Tom Woodring.

       Cubs manager Rick Renteria is tossed from the game Wednesday by home plate umpire Tom Woodring.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Cubs hit their low-water mark Wednesday night by falling to 10 games under .500.

But to paraphrase Yogi Berra, this team may have deep depth when it comes to losing.

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Things went into complete freefall in Wednesday's 8-3 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the Cubs' third straight loss to the Sox in this four-game, home-and-home set, and it sent the coveted Crosstown Cup back to the South Side.

Starting pitcher Travis Wood, who has been consistently good since the beginning of last year, was rocked for 8 hits and 8 runs in 4 innings. That sent his ERA from 3.35 to 4.75. He also took a piece of a broken bat off his midsection on Moises Sierra's infield single in the fourth.

"I'm fine," Wood said. "It got me, but what can you do?"

The Cubs offense showed some signs of life but couldn't sustain an attack, netting 4 hits for the third straight game.

And first-year manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the third time already this season for arguing the strike zone with home-plate umpire Tom Woodring in the bottom of the fifth. In the top half of the inning, the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo was called out on strikes, with at least a couple of pitches appearing to be out of the zone.

"They have a tough job," Renteria said, carefully, of the umpires. "I think at certain times, we disagree, so we let them know."

As a new manager on a bad team, Renteria is in a tough spot. The losing and the frustration will get to him, but umpires often don't take kindly to first-year skippers making spectacles of themselves on the field.

Rizzo sympathized with his boss.

"I think it stemmed from the inning before," he said. "A really good pitch on one of their players, and we didn't get the call ... and a couple of pitches that I don't need to say anything about."

When the long evening finally ended, the Cubs found themselves with a record of 11-21 and losers of four straight overall.

The starting pitching has been good most of the way, but good pitching performances have been wasted, and when the Cubs get a poor start, they don't have much of a chance.

Their offense entered the night near the bottom of the National League in many key categories.

Young hitters Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are off to decent starts. Catcher Welington Castillo has slumped lately.

However the outfield, with the exception of some spurts by Junior Lake, has been a huge negative as far as run production goes.

Renteria said the team continues to work on all of the hitters' approaches.

"Obviously, I thought we were going to be a little better, back on track," he said. "You still have to overcome any deficits that end up occurring. I think we have to put ourselves back in a situation where we continue to get better at grinding out at-bats, putting balls in play with some impact in hitters' counts, which are things we talk about."

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