By Chris Emma–

CHICAGO (CBS) — Boo birds were heard at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon.

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They were faint and a simple factor of fan frustration, but it was enough to be heard in the press box like it was in the home dugout adjacent to third base. The Cubs were swept away by the lowly Phillies, a team that holds claim to the worst record in baseball.

Frustration struck the Cubs, right? Manager Joe Maddon flipped over every table in the clubhouse, correct?

“Don’t start a bunch of fires,” Maddon said after the Cubs’ 11-5 loss on Sunday.

OK, then. There’s some important perspective from the skipper.

The Cubs are ahead of schedule this season — Year 1 of competing with the best in baseball —  with four rookies playing prominent roles. Quite frankly, they have overachieved to a 51-46 record, as the metrics indicate. Terrific pitching has largely led to this.

Maddon knows it all too well. He’s one of the best minds in baseball, and he carries the forward focus to not get down over a funk.

On Friday, the Cubs blew a game in the ninth inning and lost it in the 10th. A 50-year run of avoiding no-hitters was snapped on Saturday. And and a good old-fashion beating was dished out on Sunday.

How will Maddon and the Cubs respond?

“The beatings will continue until the morale improves,” Maddon joked with complete sarcasm.

I asked the same question to Cubs starter Jason Hammel, who got pounded by the Phillies.

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“You don’t carry it with you,” Hammel said. “We got another game tomorrow. That’s why we play 162.”

It’s easy for a veteran like Hammel or easy-going guy like Maddon to say, but this message must resonate with the Cubs’ youngsters. Given the Cubs’ leadership, it will.

Sure, Jorge Soler is struggling, Addison Russell must better the bat, Kris Bryant is searching for a break and Kyle Schwarber is adjusting to the big leagues. This is all natural — it’s taking the training wheels off of a bike. The Cubs are still in the playoff hunt, which is fantastic for such a youthful group.

This is where Maddon’s renewed culture and the leadership of players like Hammel, Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester must be displayed. For as young as the Cubs are collectively, they have positive influences all throughout their clubhouse.

If Theo Epstein can pull the right trade-deadline move, that’s fantastic. Adding David Price or the no-hit man, Cole Hamels, would be tremendous. But if this Cubs core is battling the learning curve while fighting for the postseason and the front office doesn’t want to part with a piece for the future, that’s OK, too.

Long-term plans mean more to the Cubs than anything else that can happen in this 2015 season — not even a sweep from the worst team in baseball.

But for the current Cubs in battling a tough stretch, proper perspective is quite necessary. This is a lull, and it will pass.

“You don’t change your format,” Maddon said. “You don’t reboot and become somebody else.”

These Cubs are good but possess several flaws. But they’re battling through a rough stretch, something that Maddon is wary of. Maybe it takes another magician in the clubhouse or just a big hit from a struggling bat.

In terms of the Cubs’ grand plan, this 2015 has the organization ahead of schedule. There could be greater reward this season, but competing for the postseason is a solid achievement.

Boos shouldn’t rain through Wrigley Field because of the lulls of a long season. It’s part of the growing pains that come with the fight for sustained success.

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Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.