Dale Sveum’s lineup move of the day happened to work out, it’s just that nothing else did Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.
The Cubs manager went with a moderate power threat as his third hitter in David DeJesus and it looked like sheer genius when the left-handed hitter crushed a 400-foot home run to center field in the fourth inning.
But as has been the issue of late, nobody else could follow DeJesus’ lead. The Cubs have now been held to one run or less five times over the last 11 games.
Sveum keeps rearranging his lineup pieces hoping to hit on the right combination. But way back in spring training the coaching staff was saying that they didn’t have a prototypical hitter for many of the lineup spots.
DeJesus had been the leadoff guy, but was moved to third. Starlin Castro had been third but is now second. Tony Campana has moved from the No. 2 spot to the leadoff hole. Joe Mather, who had been batting third of late, was batting eighth Saturday.
Sveum hasn’t been drawing his lineup out of a hat, it only looks that way.
The Cubs have now scored 90 runs over their 34 defeats, which is an average of just 2.6 runs per defeat. Their run total has been significantly down of late and to no surprise, they have lost 14 of their last 17 games.
While fans beg for slugger Anthony Rizzo to be called up from Triple-A Iowa, general manager Jed Hoyer says he won’t put pressure on the 22-year-old to be the offensive savior.
That, along with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein’s proclamation that he won’t make a player acquisition just to put a band aid on things essentially means that this group will have to figure it out on their own.
Optimism for the upcoming week will have to come via Monday’s draft. It seems that the Cubs will have to sell hope by revealing their selections and letting fans know that the future looks bright. All while the present continues to look bleak.
It won’t mean much for Sveum, who continues to be left with no other option than to mix and match his pieces and hope he hits on something.