5/21 Lineup stays the same for now
There was no turnover Monday at the top of the Cubs batting order as manager Dale Sveum hinted he might do.
“I didn’t say I was changing it,” Sveum said. “I considered it. I decided not to.”
Why not? Part of the reasoning is Sveum wanted to overload the lineup with left-handed hitters against Astros starter Bud Norris. The other reason is the Cubs will face left-handed starters for three games, beginning Tuesday, and he’ll be using his right-handed hitting lineup for those games. But Sveum did come close to some tweaks.
“Very close, I will admit,” Sveum said. “I decided to give it one more week, the right-handed lineup.”
It isn’t that Sveum is upset at the job David DeJesus, Tony Campana and Starlin Castro are doing in the 1-2-3 spots. The Cubs haven’t been able to turn the lineup over. They’re batting .231 with runners in scoring position.
“The bottom line is we’re still not scoring runs,” said Sveum, whose team ranks 14th in the National League in RBIs. “We’re not scoring runs off the starting pitchers and it’s been going on all year. It’s kind of weird. We’re better against the back end of the bullpen than we have been against starting pitchers.”
For example, in the three-games against the White Sox, all losses, the Cubs were outscored 16-6, and only two of those runs came off a starter, Philip Humber.
“I think the top three, we’re doing a decent job getting on base for the guys behind us,” DeJesus said. “[Sveum] knows what he’s doing — we trust him, we stand behind him and whatever he has in store for us, we’ll deal with it and go out and do it.”
— Carrie Muskat