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« The Boy King: Rose Becomes NBA's Youngest MVP Renewed Effort Helps Bulls Pull Even in Game 2 »

Cubs Wed May 04 2011

Big Hits Are Few and Far Between for Cubs

Thumbnail image for cubs.gifGeovany Soto came through in the ninth inning last night, but for the most part, clutch hits have been hard to come by for the Cubs this season. A month into the season, they are hitting a putrid .216 with a .616 OPS with runners in scoring position, well below their overall averages of .270 (fifth-best in baseball) and .723.

Hitting hasn't been the problem as much as hitting when it matters most.

The middle of the order has been the main problem. With runners in scoring position, Marlon Byrd is 5-for-32 (.156), Aramis Ramirez is 6-for-28 (.214) and Carlos Pena is 3-for-22 (.136). They have two combined home runs, though it was definitely nice to see Pena finally get his first as a Cub last night in Los Angeles.

Alfonso Soriano leads the majors with 11 home runs, but nine of those homers have been of the solo variety. And his 5-for-29 (.172) effort with runners in scoring position hasn't been great either.

If the Nos. 3, 4, and 5 hitters can get going this team should be able to turn it around.

But if the big guys can get going, the Cubs (13-16) could start to turn things around in the tightly packed NL Central. Soriano, Starlin Castro, Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney and Kosuke Fukudome are hitting, but rarely with runners on base.

This team is much better than last year's and while it is still early in some respects they need to get going before it is too late. The division very much up for grabs and if they can get any kind clutch hitting they will be right there at the end.

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