Epstein Frustrated By Struggling, Uninspired Cubs

(670 The Score) As the Cubs continue to sputter, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has just as difficult of a time explaining their woes as the typical fan.

He harbors many of the same feelings of frustration and disgust as well.

“I don’t think there’s any excuse for how we’re playing,” Epstein said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Thursday morning. “Certainly this time of year, every team has its challenges. We’re just not getting it done.

“We have our challenges, but every team has their challenges. Honestly, we’ve been essentially a .500 team for months now. Even when we were pretty healthy and guys had fewer obstacles and were not coming off injuries and things like that, we didn’t do what we needed to do to separate. We had chances when we were four, five games up at different points in the season, including in early July, we had a chance to put this thing away before the trade deadline.”

The Cubs have lost five of their last six games, including their last two to the lowly Padres in completely different fashion – a 9-8 setback in 10 innings Tuesday and a 4-0 defeat Wednesday. The stylistic contrast in the two losses was reflective of the Cubs’ struggles, as they haven’t received consistent enough production from any facet of their team.

Speaking Thursday, Epstein was clearly frustrated. Despite losing MVP candidate Christian Yelich to a season-ending knee injury Tuesday, the Brewers have pulled into a tie with the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.

“Our failure to play up to our ability, up to our potential,” Epstein said when asked what one area was most inconsistent. “We just lost two games in a row to a team that I think we’re more talented than, we have a 150 better run differential than. We were just caught from behind in the wild-card standings by a team that our run differential is over 100 runs better than. But they’re playing better ball – the Brewers, they just beat us five out of seven (recently) in huge games. We put them back in the race. It’s the inability to show up and play winning baseball.

“We’re playing bad baseball – second-most errors in the league, the most outs on the bases in the league. Those things chip away at your margin for error.

“The only good news is we’re very fortunate to have a chance with a few weeks left to change that scripts if we finally start playing good baseball on a consistent basis and show up and unite and win a bunch of games. We can change the script of what the 2019 should be known for. That’s an opportunity that should not be taken lightly because at this point in the season, I don’t think any of us associated with this team are going to be proud of what our identity is here.”

Epstein indicated this has been the most difficult season of his Cubs tenure, which dates back to October 2011.

“Yeah, I think going back to the way last year ended and just going over to this winter and then the season, it has been extremely frustrating – and it has been for our fans too,” Epstein said. “You feel that responsibility as well. You want to put a team out there that plays a quality brand of baseball that doesn’t make those errors, that doesn’t make those outs on the bases, that gets the most out of its ability. We clearly haven’t done that. It’s immensely frustrating for me. I feel that responsibility on behalf of our fans that are watching us.

“If you go back 12, 13 months, it’s just been marked by underachievement and uninspired play. And that applies to us in the front office too. Everyone is in this together. It’s just been uninspired and unacceptable. This is clearly our chance to get it right. Like I said, we can’t take that lightly.”