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Cubs aren't afraid to lean to the left

The Sports Xchange

An interesting pattern has developed with the Cubs' starting lineup, and it's one that may defy conventional wisdom.

The so-called conventional wisdom says that a manager should break up the left-handed batters, particularly in the middle of the lineup.

But so far in the early going, manager Dale Sveum has not been afraid to bat third baseman Ian Stewart fifth and first baseman Bryan LaHair sixth. Both are left-handed batters with power potential.

Left-handed hitting David DeJesus is the leadoff man.

Stewart and LaHair had big days Friday in the Cubs' 9-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Stewart hit a three-run home run in the Cubs' four-run first inning.

In the third, LaHair hit a grand slam to put the Cubs ahead, 8-0, against Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.

You might see this look continue.

"It's just the fact of if they want to bring a lefty in, our match-up is pretty good if they want to do something like that since (utility man Jeff) Baker is one of the best hitters of left-handed pitchers there are," Sveum said. "So it's not a big deal."

Baker, a right-handed hitter, has started at first base against left-handed pitchers, giving LaHair a break. Sveum had toyed in spring training with making LaHair his cleanup hitter, but he went with left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who is off to a good start overall even though he hasn't hit a home run in the Cubs' first eight games.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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