The Cubs tied a major league record on Tuesday night when the 1st 8 batters all reached base on hits (6 singles and 2 doubles). The Cubs scored 7 runs in the inning en route to a 9-4 win. The Cubs were the 1st team to accomplish the feat way back in the 1920′s. The New York Yankees were the last team to do it in September 1990.
Ryan Dempster picked up his 9th win of the season. It was not a great outing – 6 1/3 innings, 4 ER, 8 hits and 2 walks, with 4 K’s – but a win is a win at this point of the season.
2 Cubs players have quietly put together solid seasons thus far.
After a slow start in April (a .189 batting average at the end of the month), Derrek Lee has been the Cubs most consistent hitter all season long. With 2 hits in the win, Lee’s batting average is now right at .300. He has a .379 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage. Lee leads the team in HR’s (31); RBI’s (96); and runs scored (74). He has even dealt with neck/upper back spasms for much of the season, but has still managed to play in 122 games and hit 464 at-bats. Especially with Aramis Ramirez missing 2 months with a dislocated shoulder and the under performance by several key players – Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley, Geovany Soto – the presence of Lee in the lineup each and every day has been invaluable.
Mid-season acquisition Jeff Baker has also been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs in the infield. Since coming over from the Rockies in July, Baker has played in 47 games, getting 126 at-bats along the way. Baker has played 3 infield positions – 2nd base, 1st base and 3rd base. Baker has a .341 batting average with a solid 399 on-base percentage. In a limited role, Baker has hit 3 HR’s, driven in 13 runs and scored 18 runs. Baker has had 3 multi-hit games in the last 5 games played and at age 28, he is making a case that he could be the Cubs starting 2nd baseman of the future.
It’s great to see some of these guys still giving it their all day in and day out down the stretch here in 2009. At 70-67, even though the Cubs still trail the Cards by 11.5 games and the Rockies by 8 games, these guys still realize there is a lot to play for – at least personally. Good luck!