Contreras questions Cubs effort after shutout loss to St. Louis

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Edman, left, celebrates with Tyler O'Neill after hitting a two-run home run as Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, right, looks on during the fifth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.

    St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Edman, left, celebrates with Tyler O'Neill after hitting a two-run home run as Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, right, looks on during the fifth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/10/2021 10:38 PM

A Cubs recovery needs to begin with two wins in a row, and they haven't been able to take that step.

A day after pounding out 10 runs on 12 hits, Cubs bats were silenced once again in a dud of a 6-0 loss to St. Louis at Wrigley Field.

 

After the game, catcher Willson Contreras vented some frustration when he was asked if he thought the Cubs gave their best effort Saturday.

"No, I don't, to be honest. I feel like everybody was off," he said. "Everybody was distracted, I don't know why. Probably because the all-star break is really close. I don't think we were on today."

It is a strange time for the Cubs, going from a first-place tie to team president Jed Hoyer announcing the team will be in retooling mode after the recent 11-game losing streak.

"I'm just going to keep doing my job," Contreras said. "The way I play is not going to change. That's on everybody's work ethic and job. We have to win as a team, but also I cannot ask everyone to play like I do or to play like (Javy) Baez and I play. Everybody's different. I know they might be tired, but I'm here to win, I'm here to compete. That's what I like to have from everybody else."

Contreras was asked if it's reasonable to demand more from teammates, as one of the leaders in the clubhouse and a member of the 2016 World Series-winning squad.

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"I think there's s lot going on, there's a lot of things that I would like to say, but I'd rather keep it to myself than say it," Contreras said. "So that's it."

Losing pitcher Zach Davies followed Contreras to the postgame Zoom room and took a more optimistic approach to the Cubs' dilemma.

"I think it's just we had a tough stretch," Davies said. "We got one (win) back and didn't kind of try to turn the tide. It's just a tough stretch to go through for anybody. I think getting through tomorrow and getting a nice break will turn the tide for us."

It's been a strange week for the Cubs. They finally ended the losing streak on Wednesday, the bats started to come around, then disappeared again. Their last five games have featured 10, 8, 0, 10 and 0 runs.

St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim is the sort of lefty junkballer that has given Cubs hitters fits for the last 50 years, at least. He had the Cubs swinging at pitches out of the zone and hitting weak fly balls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Cubs trailed 1-0 heading into a rough fifth inning. First, Paul Goldschmidt homered off Davies, who left the game two batters later. Adam Morgan came in from the bullpen and should have had Tommy Edman struck out. The 1-2 pitch appeared to be well within the strike zone on the pitch tracker, but it was called a ball. Edman blasted a 2-run homer on the next pitch.

Before the inning ended, Antioch native Paul DeJong added a 2-run homer off Dan Winkler and it was 6-0. The missed strike call ended up costing the Cubs a few runs, but a team that can't score will never win, so it didn't really matter.

•Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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