Cubs not using extreme Chicago weather as an excuse

Cubs not using extreme Chicago weather as an excuse
May 16, 2014, 12:30 pm
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Tony Andracki

As snow flurries trickled down around the Chicagoland area Friday morning, the Cubs crowded around inside their cramped home clubhouse at Wrigley, killing time before first pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The tarp spent all pregame on the field and neither team entertained the idea of batting practice, not with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees and a constant rain coming down. Just a couple days before, it was almost 90 degrees in Chicago.

The Cubs have to be used to these ups and downs during their 13-26 start. The inconsistent Windy City weather has done no favors for an offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in average (.235, 25th in MLB) and OPS (.665, 26th), even after the 20-hit, 17-run explosion Monday in St. Louis.

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Yes, it's not supposed to snow on May 16th, even in Chicago. But the Cubs aren't using the weather as an excuse. After all, the Brewers have to play in it, too.

"We can't control the weather," manager Rick Renteria said. "We have to make sure we're doing what we're capable of doing under any circumstances. We're not looking to make any excuses — we shouldn't and weather certainly shouldn't be one of them.

"We need to go out there and have good approaches. When we do have opportunities to drive in runs, drive in runs."

Of course it would be near-freezing with rain and some snow flurries on a day Jeff Samardzija is pitching.

The 29-year-old righty is the unluckiest pitcher in baseball, having gone winless in eight starts despite a 1.45 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. The Cubs have scored just 15 runs over those eight games, including three shutouts.

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"It's a little tough," Renteria said. "But it is what it is. We have to go out there and grind through it. Hopefully [the weather] settles down a little bit.

"I'm sure Jeff's ready to go out there and pitch. He's not thinking about the weather. He's thinking about making pitches."