Poor hitting at home continues to baffle Cubs
The Cubs inability to hit at Wrigley Field has hit new extremes. The 5-1 loss to Miami on Wednesday made it four straight games scoring 1 or 0 runs at their home ballpark, going back to the Twins series two weeks ago.
They couldn't even reach the season-long home batting average of .210 in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series, going 4-for-31 at the plate against four Marlins pitchers.
Before Game 2 was postponed, Jason Heyward was asked if the absence of fans hurts the Cubs more than most teams, since few stadiums can match the energy of Wrigley Field.
"I can't use any excuse," Heyward said. "There won't any of that from me or anyone in this clubhouse. But it does go without saying, not having fans at Wrigley, it's not the same. From ball one to somebody making an error to mounting some pressure in our favor on the other team -- just the vibe, the atmosphere -- it's not the same."
The good news is the Cubs went 19-14 at home this season. So even though they hit better on the road (. 231), they posted more wins at home. The home run count this season was 44 road, 30 at Wrigley.
Cubs manager David Ross added David Bote, the team leader in RBI this season, to the original Game 2 lineup at second base. That's subject to change now, obviously.
"I think Bote has been swinging the bat as good as most guys we've had," Ross said Thursday. "He has been on the fastball. I think the narrative around him is he hits lefties. But he has hit righties.
"I feel like we're at our best when we get our timing on the heater, get ready to hit. (Former Red Sox slugger) David Ortiz used to always talk about getting his timing. He wanted to know how hard a guy threw so he could set his clock that way.
"I think that is most hitters' natural tendency to get ready fro the fastball and then adjust to the off-speed. I think right now we're just a little bit in between on that."