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Cubs’ David Ross grateful for equally bad division play amid slump

David Ross grateful for equally bad division play amid slump originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs have cooled off since starting the season with solid pitching and even better bats. In contrast to April, the Cubs are not having the best May from the plate or the bump.

The Cubs, despite undergoing a slump at the plate, are only 4.5 games out of first place, holding the third spot in the NL Central. They’re one game off the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and 4.5 back on the Milwaukee Brewers.

“Thank goodness for the sh-tty play of everybody in the division,” Cubs skipper David Ross said on Tuesday before their win over the New York Mets.

Thank goodness it’s right.

The Cubs have the 21st-ranked offense in May. They hold a .242 team batting average in the month and the second-most strikeouts in the league over the same period (208). Their pitching staff is holding on, but not replicating the top-10 staff they recorded in April.

On the other hand, Morel has the hot hand making headlines for the Cubs. He is hitting 367/.404/.980 from the plate with nine home runs and 15 RBIs in 12 games.

Once more for emphasis. Morel has nine home runs in 12 games and five in the last five games.

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Rookie first baseman Matt Mervis is hitting a reasonable .235/.291/.373 from the plate with two home runs and seven RBIs this season. His fielding has not been outstanding, but enough to keep him in the lineup. The Cubs recently DFA’d Eric Hosmer since seeing Mervis play in the majors.

Some criticize the Cubs for not making the move to call up Morel and Mervis earlier. The two youngsters are hitting phenomenally at the plate and providing helpful defensive efforts. But Ross isn’t bothered by the criticism or the Cubs’ management decisions.

He argues things could’ve been different if Morel didn’t first gain confidence in Iowa before receiving the call-up from the Cubs.

“We’re subject to the criticism and we’ve gotta be better, play better,” Ross said. “But I think we’ve always tried to take care of ourselves when we’ve got our things buttoned up and playing good clean baseball and executing. That’s the best version of us. Worry about the division as we play better baseball.”

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