9/7 Extra bases
When you go 4-for-9 in your first three games, including a home run into the wind, you get another start. On Wednesday, manager Mike Quade decided to try Bryan LaHair in right field.
“We have to find somewhere,” Quade said. “He’ll catch what he gets to. He’ll give you as good a effort as you want out there. We want to see him swing the bat. He’ll do what he can and hopefully get us the lead and we can have somebody out there who is a little more accomplished later.”
One of the raps against LaHair, 28, is his defensive ability. It’s one of the reasons he’s spent nine years in the Minor Leagues.
“People are going to have opinions and it is a bit unusual to spend as much time as he has and not really gotten a shot or an opportunity,” Quade said of LaHair. “That’s what makes his first three days even more impressive. He knows what’s what, and here he is, given an opportunity, and he’s put together five or six really good at-bats and he knows, ‘If I’m going to have a shot or make an impression, I have to do this.’”
* Andrew Cashner was available in the bullpen Wednesday. When he does pitch, it will be his first big league game since April 5. He’s been on the DL with a strained right rotator cuff.
* Darwin Barney returned home to Oregon to be with his wife Lindsay for the birth of their second child. The Cubs second baseman was expected to join the team on Friday in New York for their three-game series against the Mets.
“It may be just what the doctor ordered — a break today and off day tomorrow,” Quade said of Barney, who was 1-for-14 on the homestand and 3-for-38 in his last 12 games.
DJ LeMahieu, called up from Triple-A Iowa, started at second base Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds.
* Ryan Dempster has 32 wins at home since returning to the rotation in 2008. That’s tied for the most among NL pitchers with the Giants’ Tim Lincecum.
– Carrie Muskat