Struggles continue with runners in scoring position

WASHINGTON -- The Cubs lead the National League in extra-base hits, yet they are last in the Major Leagues with runners in scoring position. Friday's game against the Nationals was a perfect example of their struggles at the plate. The Cubs collected a season-high seven doubles, yet went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position in a 7-3 loss.

"It's hard to score only three runs with seven doubles," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Saturday.

"That's nearly impossible," general manager Jed Hoyer said.

The approach that batters must have, Sveum said, is to remember that the pitcher is the one on the ropes, not the batter.

"So much of our struggle scoring runs is attributed to two things," Hoyer said. "We don't get on base enough, and we don't drive guys in when they're in scoring position. You keep waiting for that to turn around."

The Cubs rank 12th in the National League in on-base percentage and are 11th in runs scored.

How do they fix it?

"A lot of times, it's a cycle-type stat," Sveum said. "The Angels, as great a lineup as they have, have struggled in that situation. It's a little bit contagious, and hopefully, by the end of the year, [the Cubs numbers] get to be respectable."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.