5/11 Finding the right combo
Derrek Lee hit fourth Tuesday night, the first time he’s hit somewhere other than third this season.
“It is what it is,” Lee said. “I’m hitting fourth. I’ll go out and do my best and hopefully it works.”
The change is part of Lou Piniella’s attempts to get the offense on track. Lee entered Tuesday’s game batting .211, Aramis Ramirez was hitting .163.
“We need for them to hit for us to score runs consistently,” Piniella said. “I don’t know exactly what our choices are. [Alfonso] Soriano’s been swinging the bat well and we don’t want to disturb that situation. [Geovany] Soto’s doing his job nice in the seventh hole. We have our leadoff people who are getting on base.
“We get the middle part of our lineup hitting and we’re going to score runs,” Piniella said. “It’s all set up. It’s just a question of getting it done. I don’t know what else we can do. You’ve got to be patient. I wish I had this patience in a lot of other things I do.”
The Cubs rank 15th in the NL in runners left on base, which is a not a good stat. Only the Brewers have stranded more, leaving 267. The Cubs have stranded 254.
Both Lee and Ramirez are working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, yet both say they know their swing better than anybody.
“I am my own hitting coach,” Ramirez said. “I can listen to Rudy. I know what I have to do to be ready.”
— Carrie Muskat