Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Sveum wants to see more from Cubs' LaHair vs. LHPs

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Bryan LaHair is 5-for-11 (.455) with a walk, homer and two RBIs in three games since the Cubs' right-fielder became an All-Star first-baseman.

Next up for him: Manager Dale Sveum has him in the lineup tonight in Atlanta for the finale of a four-game series, in a rare start against a left-hander (Mike Minor).

It's something Sveum would like to make a trend again, and something the manager thinks could have a significant impact on the lineup the second half of the season if LaHair can perform better against lefties than the 3-for-38, 21-strikeout effort the first 81 games of the season -- a stat that had turned him into a platoon player.

Sveum's ideal lineup, 2-through-5, goes Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano and LaHair.

Soriano has a track record for streakiness but still makes that middle-of-the-order work just well enough for Sveum as long as he has that lefty hitter producing reasonably well behind him.

``The last couple games he's been swinging really well,'' Sveum said. ``If you keep the lineup as stable as you possibly can and get him going against left-handers, [that's the goal] because you've got to have 3-4-5 guys consistent and doing it every night.''

LaHair's signs of bat life this week/month are especially encouraging since a general dip since April.

His month-by-month numbers:

April -- .390/.471/.780 (20 games)
May -- .253/.343/.448 (25)
June -- .231/.286/.400 (22)
July - That 5-for-11 in Atlanta

``I'm starting to get a little more comfortable,'' LaHair said Wednesday night. ``I made a few adjustments. I've kind of let the good and bad go a little bit on the mental side, and trust in my abilities, and those kind of things, and kind of let everything happen for me.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on July 5, 2012 1:22 PM.

Cubs' Volstad says he's ready for fresh start tonight was the previous entry in this blog.

Sveum wonders where Cubs would be with Rizzo all season is the next entry in this blog.

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