Ross doesn't stick around for end of Cubs 10th straight loss

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs manager David Ross argues with home plate umpire Nic Lentz, right, as crew chief Joe West shows Ross the way to the dugout after Lentz ejected Ross from the game during the sixth inning Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs manager David Ross argues with home plate umpire Nic Lentz, right, as crew chief Joe West shows Ross the way to the dugout after Lentz ejected Ross from the game during the sixth inning Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. Associated Press

 
Updated 7/5/2021 11:21 PM

Before Monday's return to Wrigley Field, Cubs manager David Ross talked about where his team's focus should be as it tried to snap a nine-game losing streak.

It's all about a consistent approach, Ross said. Focus on winning each pitch and every at-bat, rather than trying to single-handedly turn things around.

 

And if that doesn't work, blowing your stack is worth a try.

Ross was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes, and the Cubs lost to Philadelphia 13-3, stretching the skid to an even 10 games.

A close call on a 3-2 walk to Bryce Harper prompted the ejection. Harper seemed to disagree with a strike call on a 3-1 count. He walked on the next pitch from Rex Brothers, which was a couple of inches too low on the pitch tracker. That's when Ross got the heave-ho from plate umpire Nic Lentz.

"It felt like from my standpoint, (Harper) complained and got a call from complaining," Ross said after the game. "I haven't seen the pitch. I've heard it was down, it was outside of the box, so I can admit when I was wrong."

This also likely has been building for more than a week. The Cubs -- Patrick Wisdom in particular -- have been called out on strikes several times on pitches that appeared on replay to be well outside the zone. It happened to Wisdom again in the first inning Monday with the bases loaded.

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"Yes, I would say there are times, especially in that last series, early in tonight's game," Ross said. "When you're going through what we're going through right now, not hitting up to our capabilities and things don't go your way and you get to look back at them, there is some frustration there.

"I wouldn't say it was building. I've dealt with umpires for a long, long time. I think they're trying to call every strike they possibly can and sometimes they don't go your way. We've got to overcome that adversity, no doubt.

"From my standpoint, I need to fight and try to help out the group. It's a fine line. I don't want to be the manager that complains about every strike when you're in the middle of a stretch we're in right now. That's counterproductive as well."

Shortly after Ross left the dugout, the Phillies broke open a 2-2 game. Andrew McCutchen followed the Harper walk with an RBI double, then Rhys Hopkins drove in McCutchen with a single off Keegan Thompson. Things got worse after that, with the Phillies scoring 9 runs over the final two innings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Cubs seemed to be in command of this game early. They loaded the bases in the first inning but didn't score; took the lead on a Jake Marisnick solo home run in the second; then scored again in the third on a Javy Baez rocket RBI double.

Baez's double was measured at an exit velocity of 116.7 miles per hour, making it the hardest hit ball ever recorded by Baez, and the hardest hit by a Cubs player since 2019 when Kyle Schwarber hit 117.6 miles per hour on a single.

Cubs starter Zach Davies surrendered tying home runs to Andrew Knapp and Didi Gregorius. The Cubs' offense hit a wall after Nico Hoerner was thrown out at the plate to end the fourth inning, until Baez homered in the eighth.

This was Ross' third ejection of the season and fourth of his managerial career.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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