Alfonso Soriano still can't run the bases, but at least he's doing some other things right.
We're 5 1/2 games in back of first place, but I'm feeling good about the team right now. Maybe it's because of the double wins on Wednesday. Maybe it's because we've won five of our last six. In fact, it probably is. We may not be hitting for power all that well, but we sure are hitting. And the power will come.
Derrek Lee has 19 for his last 32 in the past eight games and has doubled at least once in each one of those games, raising his season average to .415 and his OPS to a staggering 1.092. That number is especially outstanding when you consider the fact that Lee has homered only once so far. He's doubled 17 times though.
You might say, "Of course the numbers are going to be inflated. It's early in the season." I was thinking that too, but Lee's already played in 26 games and had 106 official times at-bat!
Alfonso Soriano, despite missing over a week due to the hamstring injury has still recorded 84 official times at-bat and collected 26 hits (.310 average) and 11 doubles (.512 slugging).
The starting pitching has been incredible too. Marquis is 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA and Hill is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA. Lilly's ERA is down below 3, even after a rough start last time out and Cotts and Wuertz have combined to allow just 2 runs in 23 innings. Oh, and Dempster is a perfect 5-for-5 in saves.
You can't help but thinking how good this team will be once Zambrano, Howry, and Eyre start pitching well and when Soriano and Lee start hitting homeruns consistantly. Knowing the Cubs luck though, Marquis, Hill, and Lilly will forget how to grip a baseball at that point.
As long as we keep pace with the Cards and Astros, we're good, because Milwaukee can't run away with the division, right? Or can they? We've been trained to think that the Brewers are not a good ball club for so long that it's stuck, but it's time we start jumping on a horse to catch those pesky Brewers.