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Chicago Cubs: The most effective lineup they have isn’t being used

jfrancis
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a one run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a one run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Batting fifth…

This is where things get a bit tricky. The overall depth of the Chicago Cubs, and the fact that the pitcher bats eighth, means the next three hitters serve two purposes. Should the bases be empty, the fifth batter is tasked with restarting the rally. If there are runners on base, you are to get them over or in. Thus, the fifth batter needs to know situational batting well, and able to execute.

Ben Zobrist is that batter.

Few in baseball have the ability to hit line drives to all fields like Zobrist. Or to hit behind runners and moving them over. He can hit a home run when needed, and he can take a walk. After a pitcher faces the gauntlet of the first four batters, facing Zobrist does nothing to relax them. They know he will fight of pitches and work counts. And, if he gets on base, he knows when to extend 90 into 180 feet. Not many any baseball have the intelligence and baseball acumen of Ben Zobrist.

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