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As strikeouts mount, Cubs production falls

8/22/2012
The Cubs struck out 37 times during this week's series in Milwaukee. Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

MILWAUKEE – When the Cubs’ just-completed seven-game road trip began, last Friday’s lineup struck out five times in a defeat to the Cincinnati Reds.

Nobody knew it then, but it would be a high point.

Since then, the Cubs struck out 66 times in their last six games, capped by Wednesday’s 13-strikeout day against the Milwaukee Brewers.

With a young lineup, the Cubs are hoping that eventually things get better. In the short term, things seem to be getting worse.

“Like we talked about earlier, we have to start grinding at-bats and learn how to foul balls off and get to another pitch,” manager Dale Sveum said. “There are just too many uncontested strikeouts where we’re not battling and fouling balls of. We have to get much, much better at that.”

The shocking numbers from the series against the Brewers are that the Cubs struck out 37 times in the three games, an average of more than 12 per game.

The Cubs did get home runs Wednesday from David DeJesus and Bryan LaHair, but they produce too little power to strike out so many times. They entered the day 13th in the National League in home runs.

“They go hand in hand, but you have to have both hands,” Sveum said. “You can’t have no home runs and a bunch of strikeouts. If you’re going to strike out you had better have slugging percentage otherwise you’re not going to score runs.”