By Fred Mitchell
Tribune staff reporter
12:23 AM EDT, May 13, 2002
His players, for the most part, said it's early yet. Does that mean the level of play could get worse?
One of the worst teams in the majors made itself right at home this weekend at Wrigley Field. And it wasn't the Cubs.
After losing 16 of their first 18 road games this season, sixth-place Milwaukee swept the Cubs in the three-game weekend series.
Only a Saturday afternoon rainout saved the Cubs from further humiliation.
The Cubs, now 6-14 at Wrigley Field, yielded two grand slams and committed three errors following a 1-hour-55-minute rain delay Sunday. The Cubs have lost four in a row and are nine games below .500.
And the fans booed.
"If you don't play well, that's what you expect," Baylor said.
Baylor clearly was upset after starter Jon Lieber had his home winning streak of 13 snapped. The Cubs had won the previous 16 home games he had started.
"I'm tired of it," Baylor said. "I get tired of talking; I want some action, that's what I want. You need some guys to take out somebody in a double play. You need some things to happen on the diamond that is baseball. Not just going three up, three down all the time."
Left-hander Glendon Rusch, a previously undecorated Brewers starter, kept the Cubs in check for 71/3 innings before giving way to Mike Buddie.
Rusch (2-3) had been winless in six starts since his complete game in his season debut.
The Cubs squandered an excellent scoring opportunity in the first inning when Corey Patterson led off with a single, followed by an infield hit by rookie second baseman Bobby Hill, his first in the majors.
Sammy Sosa followed with a high bouncer to third for another infield hit. But third baseman Tyler Houston discovered Patterson had overrun third base and tagged him out. Fred McGriff followed with a strikeout before Bill Mueller ended the inning with a grounder to second.
The Cubs open a three-game series Monday night at St. Louis.
"Just because you go down to play the Cardinals, now you kick yourselves in the rear end? We have to kick ourselves in the rear end against some teams that are not as talented as our club," Baylor said.
Milwaukee, now only two games behind the Cubs in the NL Central, made the most of its scoring chance in the third inning as successive run-scoring singles by Jeffrey Hammonds, Richie Sexson and Geoff Jenkins gave the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs tallied a run in the fifth when Joe Girardi reached on an infield hit and eventually scored on Patterson's groundout.
But the Brewers extended their lead to 5-1 in the sixth when Houston doubled and scored on a single by Jose Hernandez. Alex Sanchez drove in Hernandez with a base hit.
Two grand slams by Raul Casanova in the seventh inning and Sexson in the eighth gave the Brewers a 13-1 lead.