Lou's lineup features Michah Hoffpauir in right field tonight in place of Kosuke Fukudome. Once again, Lou is at a loss for words when it comes to Fukudome.
"I think you can talk to Kosuke yourself, or you can talk to the hitting coach," Lou said. "I don't know. I don't have an explanation."
We tried to talk with Fukudome, but he asked for a "day off." Actually, the Chicago media give him a lot of days off. Whatever. It ain't exactly pretty for Fukudome nor is it any better for first baseman Derrek Lee, who is celebrating his 33rd birthday today. Let's look at a sampling:
Right now, Fukudome is batting .262 with an OBP of .363 and a woeful slugging percentage of .383. His OPS (rounded to .745 by MLB) ranks 63rd in the NL. You can't have that from a corner outfielder.
In August, Fukudome batted .193 with an OBP of .293 and a slugging of .253. He had 2 doubles and 1 homer.
In July, it was a .236 BA, .306 OBP and .382 SLG. Really, it's been downhill for him since the middle of June.
As for Lee, he's batting .292 with a .363 OBP and .460 SLG. His OPS of .824 puts him 35th in the NL. He has no extra-base hits in September.
In August, he had 4 doubles and a homer.
In July, he had 9 doubles, 1 triple and 2 homers.
In June, it was 4 doubles, 1 triple and 2 homers. In May, Lee had a .269 OBP, with 7 doubles and 5 homers. His batting average that month was only .234. He had his best month in April, slugging .705 on the strength of 8 homers, 1 triple and 9 doubles.
Lou issued a warning today that those who play well will play down the stretch. Keep an eye on this. Here's the lineup: