Byrd trusts approach despite RISP struggles

Byrd trusts approach despite RISP struggles

Byrd trusts approach despite RISP struggles
CHICAGO -- Marlon Byrd doesn't change his approach when there are runners on base, but somehow the balls he hits in those situations seem to find people.

The Cubs center fielder entered Friday's game against the Brewers batting .333 with nobody on base and .196 with runners in scoring position. He has 24 RBIs in 91 games; in August 2007, he had 20 RBIs in 25 games.

"It's one of those things where if you break it down and you look at my at-bats with runners in scoring position, I have a couple strikeouts, a couple popups and groundouts," Byrd said Friday, "but I also have a lot of line drives and hard-hit balls right at people. It's just one of those things."

He has maintained his same hitting routine, working with coach Rudy Jaramillo in the cage every day. Is it luck?

"It's not just bad luck, it's one of those years where you're off," he said. "There's a runner out there, you get your pitch and you miss it."

A perfect example was the fourth inning of Thursday's 8-3 loss to the Braves. Carlos Pena was on second with one out after a bunt single and stolen base. Brandon Beachy threw a fastball down the middle to Byrd, who put a good swing on the pitch but popped up to second baseman Dan Uggla.

"I'm not result-minded and never have been," Byrd said. "I trust my mechanics. You see the ball and hit it, and whatever happens, there's not much you can do."

Byrd is batting .292 overall, so it isn't as if he is struggling at the plate. And if the numbers are reversed next season?

"Next year, everyone will say, 'What changed?'" Byrd said. "[My answer will be] nothing."