5/23 Cubs stats can be “mind boggling”
The Cubs are wasting good starting pitching and Dale Sveum said he may abandon his lineup platoon against left-handed starters to try and shake things up. Entering Thursday’s game, Chicago starters had posted 28 quality starts this season and had a 1.98 ERA in those games, yet the pitchers had won only 11 of those contests; the team has won 16 total.
“It’s mind boggling,” Sveum said. “Some of the stats we have are really strange. To have this good stating pitching and be nine games under .500 and have a run differential of five — there are certain things you can’t explain other than just not being able to put games away. Hitting with men in scoring position, getting that run in, getting that big inning here or there, we’re just snake bit on that and not getting that stuff done.”
The Cubs are batting .214 with runners in scoring position, lowest in the NL. Only the Mariners are worse at .206.
“It’s just understanding that the pitcher is on the ropes, not you, and I think that’s our biggest problem in those situations,” Sveum said. “We’re letting [the pitchers] dictate the at-bat and we’re not dictating those at-bats.”
Sveum has been platooning batters, and sitting left-handed hitting David DeJesus and Nate Schierholtz against southpaw starters, but said Thursday he may change that approach.
“We talk about hundreds of things when things aren’t going well,” Sveum said of his options. “The fact of the matter is we’re pitching well — we’ve had a few hiccups in the bullpen — and we’re catching the ball and hitting, but not scoring runs.”
— Carrie Muskat