Tuesday, May 14, 2013
DeJesus starts against lefty Francis
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs outfielder David DeJesus will get his first start against a left-handed pitcher this season Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.
DeJesus is hitting .267 off Rockies starter Jeff Francis and .417 when leading off a game this season.
"I've faced Jeff a couple times in my career so I have some experience off him," DeJesus said before batting practice on Tuesday. "I'm not changing anything and I'll just try and do my best."
The Cubs are shooting for their first four-game winning streak of the season and the first three have come in solid fashion. They beat Washington Nationals stars Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzlaez over the weekend then took down the 20-18 Rockies 9-1 in the opener of this series on Monday.
But manager Dale Sveum isn't concerned with who they beat just how they did it. The weekend games were tight victories.
"More importantly it's winning those kinds of games," he said. "Those are the games we all know that we've lost. The same way they (Washington) lost the two games to us as well."
And then came Monday's offensive barrage which included six doubles. The Cubs scored early to take the "weight off my shoulders" as starter Travis Wood put it. Then they put the game away with four runs in the final couple of at-bats. It's a departure from their offensive pattern of this year in which driving in insurance runs eluded them.
"The only thing bad about our offense is that we're hitting .209 with men in scoring position," Sveum said. "Other than that I think our OPS is top-five in the National League."
Actually the Cubs rank seventh in OPS but fourth in slugging. Either way, maybe the bats are coming alive while Sveum believes hitting with men in scoring position is cyclical and the Cubs haven't had their turn yet.
"At least we're out of the hundreds; we're climbing towards .210 now," Sveum half-joked. "Like I said before, that stat is a cycle for a lot of teams."