Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Randy Wells, right, returns to the mound after giving up a three-run home run to Milwaukee Brewers' Casey McGehee, left, during the fourth inning Monday.
Bruce Miles' game tracker
Brewers 18, Cubs 1
Striking early: Cubs pitcher Randy Wells began well enough, throwing only 29 pitches over the first 3 innings. Twenty-four of those pitches were strikes. In Milwaukee's 5-run fourth, Wells threw 32 pitches. He was gone in the fifth.
Rough debut: Casey Coleman made his big-league debut for the Cubs as a reliever. He pitched 21/3 innings, giving up 8 hits and 6 runs. "I had a chance to pick up the bullpen," Coleman said. "I wish I could have gone 3-4 innings. Next time out, I'll have to go after it."
Big night: Of the Brewers' 26 hits, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder had 5 each. Corey Hart had 4 hits, and Alcides Escobar had 3.
Even for most of this bad season, one constant for the Cubs has been decent starting pitching.
Now even that's taken a powder.
It was more of the same Monday night as Randy Wells lasted just 4 innings in an 18-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
By the time the carnage ended, the Brewers had outhit the Cubs 26-4. The 26 hits given up tied a franchise mark, set Sept. 2, 1957, against the Milwaukee Braves.
It's probably a tossup as to which loss was more embarrassing, this one or last week's 17-2 loss at Colorado, where the Rockies batted around twice in one inning.
Most of the people in the announced crowd of 37,731 seemed so apathetic about things that they could barely muster up the interest to boo.
The Cubs lost their sixth straight to fall to 46-60. They're now in fifth place in the National League Central.
"To me, this is some of the aftereffects of going to Colorado and Coors Field," said Cubs acting manager Alan Trammell. "Maybe not to this degree, but you go into a game where basically you don't want to use three pitchers because of overuse over the weekend.
"Nothing worked. They certainly hit some balls hard. They found some holes. They did everything. We got our butts kicked tonight, that's for sure."
Trammell agreed the game was embarrassing.
"Absolutely," he said. "It's not what you're looking for. And it doesn't taste well, no question about it."
The last time the Cubs got a quality start came on July 25, when Ryan Dempster worked 7 innings in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since then, it has been 7 straight non-quality starts, with the team having gone 1-6 over that span and the starters' ERA being 6.39.
And on top of it all, exactly one half of the Cubs' 12-man pitching staff is made up of rookies as they brought up Thomas Diamond and Casey Coleman from the minor leagues Monday.
Over the course of a long season, that's a recipe for 100 losses.
The Brewers started the pounding in the fourth inning, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring 5 runs, 3 coming on a homer by ex-Cub Casey McGehee.
Ten more went to the plate in the fifth, with Milwaukee adding 5 more, 4 of them unearned.
"It's pretty unexplainable," Wells said. "I kind of felt really good today. I was throwing the ball well. A couple balls found some holes, and I made a bad pitch to McGehee. He did what good hitters do with them. Even after that, I let the inning get away from me."
The Brewers weren't through. They sent eight men to the plate in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
"It's pretty tough," left fielder Alfonso Soriano said. "It's embarrassing the way we play the last couple days. - I'm very angry, but nothing to show. I just want to go home and try to forget today and try to come back with more energy and try to win the game tomorrow."