CHICAGO -- Scott Hairston has started all three games against the Cubs, including two against right-handed pitchers after starting just six games against righties all year coming into the series.
Hairston went 1-for-4 on Tuesday against right-hander Randy Wells and the Cubs' pitching staff. Hairston still managed to get on base in each of his first four at-bats, reaching on two errors by third baseman Luis Valbuena.
With a .182 batting average against right-handed pitchers and a .314 batting average against left-handed pitchers this season, Hairston said he's not surprised most of his previous starts came against southpaws.
"I see the ball better against lefties and most of my starts have been against left-handed pitching," Hairston said. "When I feel that I start, I'm in a better rhythm, as opposed to pinch-hitting off the setup man or closer if it's a righty. I believe I have a lot of pinch-hits against righties this season, and I haven't really done the job coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter as I want to this season."
Hairston only has a .181 career batting average as a pinch-hitter and a .211 batting average off the bench this season. His batting average against all pitchers as a starter this year is .253, compared to .188 off the bench.
Hairston said coming off the bench to face a pitcher late in a game is one of the hardest things a player can do.
"Early in my career, I didn't really know how to handle that situation," Hairston said. "Now I've gotten accustomed to it. Psychologically, you have to train yourself to get in the mindset of seeing yourself coming off the bench and doing something good, instead of thinking I'm cold and I'm not loose and I'm not ready."
Manager Terry Collins is showing more confidence in Hairston to deliver against any pitcher by plugging him in to the starting lineup against right-handed and left-handed pitchers this series.
"He gives us some sock in the middle of our lineup," Collins said. "They make mistakes and Scotty can hit them."