Monday will be a much-needed off-day for the Cubs and Phillies.
Both teams enter the opener of their three-game series at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday mired in their losing ways.
The Cubs come to Philadelphia following a disappointing 1-7 homestand, while the Phillies have lost 13 of 14, their worst 14-game stretch since September 1999.
One of Philadelphia's second-half wins belongs to right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who takes the mound Tuesday looking to rebound from an abysmal outing his last time out against the Giants. Kendrick turned in his shortest start of the season on Wednesday, allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in two-plus innings.
"They found some holes, and it was a frustrating night for me," said Kendrick, whose ERA has risen from 3.68 to 4.29 after his last three starts.
Junior Lake looks to lead the Cubs offense' against Kendrick on Tuesday, as the rookie sensation has flashed enormous potential since entering Chicago's lineup. The left fielder has 25 hits in his first 18 games, with his 25 knocks in his first 17 the second most by a Cub since 1921.
Lake went 0-for-4 in Sunday's loss to the Dodgers, but has already notched two four-hit games and a two-homer game in his short career. Lake has been hitting in the two-hole in the Cubs' lineup, and although his early offensive output suggests he could hit lower, manager Dale Sveum said earlier this week he's going to keep Lake and his small sample size batting second for now.
"Right now I like him where he's been. He's doing just fine," Sveum said. "I mean, those kind of things you project once they, you know, have got a lot of at-bats in and see how they are. A lot of things are dictated [by] the rest of the personnel on your team. So it's hard to say he's this or he's that. And you don't have really a three or a two or whatever, you can go on and on about that. But until it's all said and done, you're not going to want to mess with anything."
Cubs: Jackson on the hill
Right-hander Edwin Jackson takes the mound Tuesday looking to build on a successful July. The Cubs' biggest offseason acquisition has struggled for most of the season -- sporting a 5.84 ERA on June 25 -- but was 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA in five July starts.
He is 1-4 with a 4.45 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies.
• The Cubs hit .226 with runners in scoring position on their recently completed homestand, the same as their season average in such situations.
Phillies: Ruf on a roll
Darin Ruf has reached base safely in 32 straight games, the longest active streak in the National League. It's also the longest such streak by a Phillie since Chase Utley reached safely in 33 straight from Sept. 7, 2008 to April 22, 2009.
• All-Star outfielder Domonic Brown is expected to rejoin the Phillies on Wednesday. He's been out after sustaining a concussion diving for a fly ball on July 23 and is anxious to get back.
"It feels like it's been a long time, I'm not going to lie to you," Brown said.
• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is three wins shy of 1,000 for his career.
• The Cubs have 26 road wins compared to 23 at Wrigley Field and are one of only three teams (Mets and Royals) with more wins on the road than at home.
• Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is hitting .313 with two doubles and three homers in his last nine games.
• The Phillies have lost their last five series.