PHILADELPHIA -- When a team goes as bad as the Chicago Cubs have gone of late, a lot of people in an organization take heat -- the players and the front office, included. But ultimately the pressure and attention goes on the manager.
Returning home, Mike Quade will have to deal with questions about his team that only won two of 10 games on this recent road trip.
“I can’t concern myself [with external pressure],” Quade said. “I hope [the fans] come out and support us. We need it. We haven’t laid down, but people want you to win, and we’re struggling right now. People will come out. Ultimately, if you show up at the ball park or read about [fan opinions] and not about your own game and what you want to accomplish then you really have a problem.”
Quade is a native Chicagoan. He believes in the Cubs fans and their belief in the team.
“Cubs fans have always been good people and good fans,” Quade said. “Hopefully they will support us right now and I think they will.”
The Cubs had a 3-2 lead Sunday as left-hander Doug Davis pitched five innings then turned the game over to an overtaxed bullpen. For the second consecutive day, lefty Sean Marshall couldn’t get Ryan Howard and the Phillies out. Marshall, who has pitched in four of the Cubs’ past five games, wouldn’t use being tired as an excuse for allowing Howard’s two-single in the seventh inning.
“We put a little different shift on him,” Marshall said. “He put the bat on the ball and had enough of it to get it through the infield. He’s a good hitter. He’s a big league hitter. Just like [Chase] Utley and some of the other players on their team. That’s probably why they’re in first place.”
Davis understands the pressure on the Cubs and Quade.
The Cubs return home having lost three straight and 13 of their past 16. Life will not get any easier for the Cubs, who have four games with the Milwaukee Brewers followed by three-game sets with the New York Yankees and White Sox.