Inside Pitch: Much Needed Day Off

The 17-day stretch from hell finally ended for the Cubs on Sunday.

The Cubs finally take a day off Monday after enduring a 17-day stretch in which they went 3-14 and were outscored 103-38.

The Cubs opened the stretch April 28 with a 6-2 victory over Milwaukee and then went into a huge slide after that, dropping 14 of the next 16, including Sunday's 9-0 loss to San Diego.

"I told you it was going to be tough when we started this," Baker said. "It started out tough from that first bad game and it kind of went downhill from there. We'll take a day off and get away from it."

The Cubs opened the stretch with a 13-8 mark and were 2 1/2 games out of first in the National League Central. Now they are 15-22 and are 8 1/2 games off the pace.

REPLAY: For the first time in Cubs history, they were swept in a season series by a National League team when they went 0-7 against San Diego after Sunday's 9-0 loss to the Padres at Wrigley Field.

San Diego took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning and combined to score seven runs on just three hits in the sixth and seventh. Cubs pitchers allowed 10 walks, two wild pitches and hit a batter.


--3B Aramis Ramirez let a hot grounder get by him in the seventh inning of Sunday's 9-0 loss to San Diego for his first error of the season. He had gone 34 games without a miscue.

--RHP Angel Guzman was demoted to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday after going 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA and 16 walks in 18 innings.

"We thought Guzie needed a little more time to serve his apprenticeship in the minors," manager Dusty Baker said. "He needs to get his control together. He was here more out of necessity than the fact of whether he was ready or not. He made some quality pitches, but sometimes you lose control of the strike zone."

--RHP Jae Kuk Ryu was promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Saturday and will join LHP Glendon Rusch as a long reliever in the bullpen and could serve as insurance if RHP Kerry Wood isn't able to return from the disabled list Thursday.

--RHP Kerry Wood (shoulder surgery) threw a bullpen session Sunday, two days after throwing 85 pitches in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Iowa. Wood is likely going to make his season debut against Washington on Thursday.

--RHP Wade Miller (shoulder surgery) threw two sets of 20 pitches in batting practice during extended spring training in Arizona and told Cubs officials after the felt better than he has in two years. He is eyeing a return in June.

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