SAN FRANCISCO -- Nate Schierholtz sees encouraging signs with his swing.
The Cubs outfielder entered Monday's game against his former team, the Giants, batting .207 overall; one year ago on this date, he was batting .281.
"Early on, the first week or so, I wasn't having much luck finding holes, so I started tinkering and changing things," Schierholtz said Monday. "I got in my own head for a little bit. I feel a heck of a lot better now. I feel like it's behind me."
It wasn't that he had an epiphany talking to anyone.
"It's something I had to figure out on my own," he said. "You have a million different people telling you a bunch of different things; it doesn't really always solve the problem. It almost makes it worse sometimes. I'm just trying to get back to the basics and keep it simple."
The change paid off Monday with his first home run, a leadoff shot in the third in the Cubs' 8-4 win over the Giants.
Schierholtz was batting .250 against left-handed pitching, .195 against right-handers. Usually, those numbers are reversed for the left-handed hitter.
"I feel I have a better approach against lefties this year," he said. "When I came in this spring, it was one of my goals. I faced a lot of lefties in spring, and not many righties, so I ended up being comfortable against lefties right away. I feel good now. I'm not over-thinking anything."
Maybe that's the best way to approach the game.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.Less