Daniel Murphy will hit leadoff in his Cubs’ debut as he tries to jump start a struggling offense

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 19: Daniel Murphy #20 of the Washington Nationals at bat against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at Nationals Park on August 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

DETROIT – It’s cliché yet correct to say that every team goes through a stretch where the offense isn’t there.

During the Joe Maddon era of the Cubs, fans have seen that happen during the regular season, NLCS, and the World Series. It’s part of the game, for sure, but what they Cubs have done the last five games is almost remarkable.

In a 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday, the Cubs scored their only run of the game on a solo homer from Anthony Rizzo. It marked the fifth-consecutive game they’ve done so – a first for the modern era of baseball – and because of it the team has a 2-3 record on their current road trip.

So in an effort to find some offense in the team’s finale against the Tigers tonight at Comerica Park, Maddon has decided to start things up with the newest Cub.

Daniel Murphy, who was acquired via a waiver trade on Tuesday, will bat leadoff for the Cubs this evening. This is just the second time that he’s batted in the first position in the lineup during the season, having gotten one at-bat in the slot while with the Nationals and hitting a double in that appearance.

It’s an odd marriage of player and team with Murphy, considering his success against the Cubs in the past. In 55 career games against his current squad, Murphy hit .325 with nine homers and 22 RBI, yet it’s his playoff efforts that are remembered the most. In the 2015 NLCS with New York, Murphy hit .529 with four homers and six RBI on his way to being named series MVP in a sweep of the Cubs. Last season, he had four hits and a homer in the NLDS against the Cubs with the Nationals.

Whether Murphy stays at the top will depend on if he can be the one to snap the Cubs out of a most unusual hitting slump.