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NYM@ARI: McCarthy strikes out five in loss vs. Mets

It's not surprising given their slow starts to the season that both the Cubs and D-backs have had a hard time firing on all cylinders.

The Cubs have received good starting pitching, but the offense has struggled.

Meanwhile the D-backs' rotation has struggled and even when they have turned in good outings, the offense hasn't always been there.

"Every team goes through it," said Jason Hammel, who will start for the Cubs against the D-backs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. "There are going to be times this year when the hitters are putting up tons of runs and the pitchers aren't picking them up. That's the way 162-game baseball season goes. You just have to keep grinding and keep doing your job. Things will turn."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was asked before Monday's series opener if he was seeing signs that his offense might be pressing in an effort to score more runs.

"I don't know what to tell you on that," Gibson said. "Sometimes you're swinging the bats good, sometimes not. We've swung the bat decently on certain days, but what we haven't done is get on a roll, which is kind of uncharacteristic. We've scored our share of runs, but not consistently. Regardless of how many runs we're scoring, we want to score one more than the other team."

In his last outing, Tuesday's starter Brandon McCarthy pitched well, but a lack of offensive support when he was in the game led to a loss for both he and the D-backs.

"Mac threw good enough to win the game," Gibson said after that game.

It was a loss that capped an 0-6 homestand for the D-backs and left them pondering anything to change their luck.

"I don't know what we're in need of besides playing better baseball, maybe an exorcism or something," McCarthy said then. "But we've crossed over into that bad side."

While fans can often times be reactionary to a tough start, players tend to take a longer view.

Their comfort lies in the length of the season and the knowledge that these things tend to even out over the course of 162 games.

"Over a 33-, 34-start season, it's going to be hit or miss," Hammel said. "You can't be worried about what the offense is doing. Your prime objective is to get guys out. Whether the run support is there, you can't control that. We know they're doing their best, just like we're doing our best. It's going to be funny because I'm sure later in the year, you'll be coming up to a position player and ask, 'Hey, you guys are putting up runs and the pitching isn't doing it,' and they'll give the same sound bite. That's the way the season goes."

D-backs: Interference oddity
Paul Goldschmidt can only remember one other time in his career before this weekend that he had a catcher interference call when he was at the plate.

Yet twice in the three-game series with the Dodgers, Goldschmidt reached first when his bat struck the glove of catcher Tim Federowicz.

"I honestly don't know," Goldschmidt said when asked about why it happened twice in three games. "Obviously I'm not trying to hit him, he's not trying to hit me. Probably won't happen again for two years now."

Cubs: Home sweet home
Starlin Castro feels right at home at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs shortstop has a hit in each of the team's 10 home games, and is riding a 13-game home hitting streak that dates back to Sept. 23 of last season. He is batting .390 (16-for-41) at home this season.

He's not the only one to thrive in the friendly confines. Anthony Rizzo is batting .441 at home, and has reached safely in his last nine games at Wrigley.

Worth noting:
• Not many of the Cubs' hitters have faced McCarthy before with just Ryan Sweeney having more than a few at-bats. Sweeney is 3-for-12 (.250) against him.

• In two games, one start, in his career at Wrigley Field, McCarthy has a 2.45 ERA.

• The D-backs Gerardo Parra (7-for-20) and Martin Prado (5-for-13) have had success in their careers against Hammel. On the other hand, Cody Ross (1-for-12) and Aaron Hill (2-for-13) have not.

• D-backs right-handed pitching prospect Jimmie Sherfy is 2-0 with five saves in seven scoreless relief appearances for Class A Visalia. He has 14 strikeouts and two walks over those seven innings.

• Jake Arrieta went 5 2/3 innings for Class A Daytona in his fourth Minor League rehab outing. The right-hander, who was slowed this spring because of tightness in his right shoulder, may need at least one more rehab start before he's activated.

• Catcher Welington Castillo has eight RBIs in his last eight games.

• Travis Wood hit a three-run homer and an RBI double on Monday, and is the first Cubs pitcher to record two extra-base hits in a game since Carlos Zambrano did so April 28, 2009, at Arizona.

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