Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard watches his one run double hit against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 12, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
Updated: August 3, 2011 7:39PM
PHILADELPHIA — Before the Cubs played their first game on a long, ugly road trip that landed on its face Sunday, manager Mike Quade declared, ‘‘Whatever heat comes, bring it on.’’
He couldn’t possibly have known what he was asking for.
As the Cubs head from a brutal three-city road trip into a brutal weeklong homestand, the heat is
rising fast on the heels of their 4-3 loss Sunday to the Philadelphia Phillies. They led 3-0 after a half-inning and didn’t score again.
The Cubs are reeling from 11 losses in their last 13 games and are bracing for the possibility that
reliever Kerry Wood might have to go on the disabled list because of a lingering blister problem on his right index finger.
Wood, who has pitched through the on-again, off-again problem for a while, couldn’t go Sunday after warming up. And with the Cubs’ bullpen overtaxed in the last week or two, they might not have the luxury of waiting it out.
‘‘Yeah, absolutely it’s a possibility,’’ Wood said of a move to the disabled list, which the same finger required for the same problem in 2008. ‘‘I’m a couple of days away, probably. But they might not want to mess with it, so, yeah, that’s a possibility.’’
Between Wood’s blister and an overworked Sean Marshall’s blown save in the seventh inning, the Cubs can’t seem to find a break this
season — unless it involves a bone.
The blown save, which was the result of Ryan Howard’s two-run single, was the second of the Cubs’ 2-8 road trip (Carlos Marmol had the other) and dropped them to a season-worst 14 games below .500.
And now the Cubs come home for four games against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and three against the loaded New York Yankees in front of a restless, discontented fan base.
‘‘I can’t concern myself with that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I hope [the fans] come out and support us; we need it. And we haven’t laid down. But people want to see you win, and we’re struggling right now.
‘‘Cubs fans have always been good people and good fans, and hopefully they’ll support us right now. And I think they will.’’