Cubs success against lefties? Maybe it's Marisnick
With Friday's victory over Milwaukee, the Cubs improved to 6-0 this season against left-handed starting pitchers.
Here's another way to look at it: The Cubs are undefeated with outfielder Jake Marisnick in the starting lineup.
In a day packed with Cubs offense, Marisnick had one of the best days at the plate, going 2-for-4 with 5 RBI and 3 runs scored. He also hit his first home run with the Cubs, which came off a right-handed pitcher of all things -- Josh Lindblom, who replaced started Brett Anderson in the first inning.
Marisnick's main role with the Cubs is to fill in for Joc Pederson, Jason Heyward or Ian Happ against lefties. He's also a frequent late-game defensive replacement in center. That can lead to a strange workload -- such as going 13 days between starts, then getting three in a row this week.
"It's just staying ready," Marisnick said after the game. "Do what you're asked and be ready, don't complain and find a way to get it done. It's kind of the way I've gone about my whole career is when your number's called, be prepared and go out there and grind.
"Find a way to help the team win that night, whether it's making a play, stealing a base, taking a walk. That's kind of a big thing talking to younger guys when they're in a role where they're not playing every day. Find one thing to impact a game, find a way to do something that helps the team win that night. For me, that's kind of been able to keep me in a rhythm."
After Friday's action, Marisnick has the highest batting average (.269) and most RBI (8) of the Cubs outfielders and he's scored the same number of runs (6) as Happ, the team's regular leadoff hitter.
Marisnick, 30, spent most of his nine years in the majors with Houston and played for the Mets last season. The closest he's been to an everyday player is 133 games with the Astros in 2014.
Over his career, there's not a big difference in left vs. right splits. Marisnick has hit .239 against left-handers and .223 against right-handers. According to baseball-reference.com, Marisnick has more career home runs against righties (32) than lefties (24).