MILWAUKEE -- Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo gave the players a pep talk before Friday's game.
The club entered the game against the Brewers 10-7 in their last 17 games dating to April 21, and batting .254 and hitting 13 of their season-total 18 home runs in that stretch.
Bryan LaHair has carried the team, batting .384 with a team-high eight home runs. Some of the others have been scuffling, so Jaramillo challenged them during an early batting practice session at Miller Park.
"Players are so superstitious," he said. "It's kind of like a ritual -- you remember how you put your uniform on the day before and then maybe you change your socks or you try to do something different. What happens, too, is they try to do something different with their swing and try to change it, but really you have to go back to your mentality and change that."
What he wants to see is some swagger and players being aggressive and attacking.
"We get in-between mentally at the plate when you're struggling because you're worried about mechanics, you're worried about what pitch, so there's no concentration, no plan or approach," he said. "The way you get out of it is to go up there and be aggressive so you don't get that in-between thinking, and attack. 'I'm going to attack and get a good pitch and hit it hard.' That's how you get out of it, basically."
Which is what he told the players.
"I said, 'Hey, I don't want to hear about mechanics, I don't want to hear about anything,'" Jaramillo said. "'I want you to attack the ball and be aggressive and then you don't think about being in-between.' And we had a great session."