For the first time this season, the Chicago Cubs have suffered two straight losses. It marks the end of a remarkable stretch roughly 90 years in the making.
The juggernaut Cubs were swept by the San Diego Padres in Wednesday's doubleheader, snapping their streak of avoiding consecutive losses at 32 games. Their improbable start to the season is the deepest a team has gone without back-to-back losses since the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics skirted out to a 39-12 record before losing a second straight time in Game No. 52.
Fittingly, the A's went on to win the World Series that year in five games over the Cubs.
"This is not baseball reality," Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, told CSN Chicago before Tuesday's win over the Padres. "Baseball reality is it's really hard to win a single major-league game. That's why we celebrate it so much."
Wednesday's slump notwithstanding, the heavy favorite Cubs have lived up to their dominant offseason by outscoring the opposition by 99 runs through 33 games, and jumping out to a seven-game lead over the second-place Pirates.
Epstein, citing "baseball karma," said the club wasn't taking the hot start for granted, even after winning 12 of 13 games before Wednesday's twin bill.
"We know we’re in a stretch right now where winning seems far easier than it actually is," Epstein said. "We know there's going to be a stretch - probably a long stretch this year - where winning even one game seems virtually impossible. That's just the nature of baseball. We're not blinded by it."
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