Joe Maddon knows reigning MLB World Series champions the Chicago Cubs must start hitting the ball if they are to avoid elimination from the National League Championship Series.
The Cubs face the prospect of a sweep at Wrigley Field on Wednesday as the Los Angeles Dodgers lead 3-0.
Chicago have scored just four runs in three games this series. Stars Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have managed only four hits between them, and the Cubs are 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position in the NLCS.
"It's not about panic or not panic. It's about hitting or not hitting," Cubs manager Maddon said on Wednesday.
"We've got to start hitting the ball. It's not complicated. We just have not swung the bats well this postseason. We got through the Washington series with limited offense. We are on the verge of extinction right now without any offense again. We need to hit.
"It's going to be hard for us to pitch to the level to have 4-1 winning streaks right now without hitting. We've got to hit. So, no, there's no ultra overconcern or panic, no. But we've got to hit. The lack of hitting is not because guys are uptight. The lack of hitting is because the Dodgers have executed their pitching so well."
Bryant mentioned after Tuesday's game that fatigue might be playing a factor in the Cubs' offensive struggles. Maddon was not buying it.
"Right. Well, it's just that I think everybody is [tired]," Maddon said. "I think if you talk to the [Los Angeles] Dodgers players, they'll say the same thing. They don't feel like they just woke up in Spring Training. It's a long season. We've been through a lot.
"For us, it's accumulation of three years, not just this year. Really proud of where we're at, once again. We're not conceding anything. But I think it's natural for any Major League player to say at this time of the year they might be a little fatigued. So I don't know exactly where he was coming from with that, but I just think that's a normal reaction."